It would be strange to get in the car and think you were going to pick up the kids at school, but not be really sure. But there are moments in the process of writing a story when you must tolerate that uncomfortable feeling: You stay alert to everything that is happening and by listening and watching, you find out where you are going by going there. Somebody else may get in the car.
The author of eight books of fiction, Ron Carlson has been praised as "a master of the short story" (Booklist). In these essays, he gives rare insight into a veteran writer's process by inviting the reader to watch over his shoulder as he writes the short story, "The Governor's Ball."
"This is a story of a story" he begins, and proceeds to offer practical advice for creating a great story, from the first glimmer of an idea to the final process. Carlson urges the writer to refuse the outside distractions--a second cup of coffee, an un-vacuumed carpet, a troll through the dictionary--and attend to the necessity of uncertainty, the unexpected pleasures of an unfolding story.
"The Governor's Ball"—included in its entirety—serves as a fascinating illustration of the detailed anatomy of a short story. With charisma and wit, Carlson offers illuminating strategies that are sure to engage and inspire writers eager to expand their creative powers.