Author: Ian

Looking for something to read?

I’m always looking for good books, and especially for “Great Books,” which I treasure both because I have conventional tastes and because being familiar with them is like knowing the landmarks in a city where I’m trying to make my way. Here are some lists of the most prominent landmarks in literary fiction; the books…

Welcome, Spam Bots!

Here at WiT Blog we’ve received a number of comments that have nothing to do with the posts they follow.  I’ve finally realized what these comments are: our loyal readers have been posting their writing samples on our blog in the hope of joining WiT’s weekly fiction workshop.  Sorry to be so slow on the…

Just Write!

Aspiring writers often have trouble just forcing themselves to put words on the page—they procrastinate from day to day and are lucky if they eke out 1,000 words a week.  So maybe I can help: I write about half a million words a year (most of them get deleted, but still…).  My advice on how…

The Appeal to Authority

Here’s some of my favorite advice from writers about writing: “Somehow I had come up with the notion that one’s personal life had nothing to do with fiction, when the truth, as everyone knows, is nearly the direct opposite…the fiction…that moved and pleased me then as now was precisely that which had been made luminous,…

Put in a Good Word for Me

I enjoy rare words.  Here are a few that strike me as pretty or that might be of general interest, followed by a discussion of the pros and cons of using obscure words in prose: Accismus: the act of feigning disinterest in something while actually desiring it Autolatrist: self-worshipper Banausic: related to or concerned with…