Retreating

By Brian Kaufman The year before last, I decided to try a writer’s retreat, hoping to inspire and accelerate my latest work-in-progress. My wife is a published poet, and the idea appealed to her as well. Many web packages were out of our price range, so I decided to put my own package together withContinue reading “Retreating”

The Fine Line of Writing Historical

By Brian Kaufman Though I write in multiple genres, I tend to circle back to one genre in particular. Three of my published novels are historical fiction. My first novel, The Breach, told the Alamo’s story from the Mexican point of view. That book took me three years to research, two years to write, and anotherContinue reading “The Fine Line of Writing Historical”

The First Steps

By Brian Kaufman Writing was not my first choice. The summer I turned nine, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris raced to beat Babe Ruth’s record for home runs. I was a Yankees fan, and their heroics inspired me to play baseball for a living. I would reach my late teens about the time Mickey wouldContinue reading “The First Steps”

Five Books I’m Glad I Read in School

By Brian Kaufman I asked a writer friend if he’d ever read a particular classic novel. His face puckered up as he admitted, “Yes, I had to read that for school.” There’s not enough time for all the great books. My friend, author Pat Stoltey, recently told me, “My worst moment when I was aContinue reading “Five Books I’m Glad I Read in School”

What I Do When I’m Not Writing

By Brian Kaufman Introduced to a new coworker recently, “What do you do for fun?” I explained that I write. Since I write textbooks for a living, my new friend pressed me for a different answer. “No, not work. What do you do for fun?” I write. “You don’t spend every moment of every dayContinue reading “What I Do When I’m Not Writing”

Thoughts on The Myth of The Great American Novel

By Brian Kaufman Ask a published writer about a lottery-ticket sort of dream, and some will mention a best-seller. Others, a movie contract. For some, writing the Great American Novel tops the list.I know more than one writer with that secret goal. One of them might be me.

When Your Past Becomes History

By Brian Kaufman I’m pretty old. Time is relative. Suppose you bought a car in 1995. You can register it as a classic. Yet a 25-year-old person would hardly be considered an antique. The modern age of baseball started in 1900. The modern age of philosophy began with René Descartes in the seventeenth century. So,Continue reading “When Your Past Becomes History”

ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG WRITER

BY BRIAN KAUFMAN Originally posted May 14, 2020 When I was twelve years old, I wrote an adventure story about school kids trapped on an island, thwarting a plot to take over the world. My English teacher had me read the story to the class. I decided then that if I didn’t play centerfield forContinue reading “ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG WRITER”

THE SOLITARY ENDEAVOR

  By Brian Kaufman Originally posted April 16, 2020 I belong to two critique groups. Because of stay-at-home orders, both groups have switched to online meetings via Zoom. For years, one group’s meetings included a member in Portland, thanks to Facetime. We’d pass the cell phone around the table when sharing our feedback. So, I’mContinue reading “THE SOLITARY ENDEAVOR”

USING SYMBOLISM

BY BRIAN KAUFMAN Originally posted February 13, 2020 You are likely familiar with narrative arc (the path that characters take within a story’s plot) and character arc (the changes characters undergo throughout the story). But you may not be familiar with symbolic arc—the evolving use of a recurring symbol in fiction. I first encountered thisContinue reading “USING SYMBOLISM”