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”

Poking A Wound

By Brian Kaufman Originally posted March 26, 2020 I attended Colorado State University at the turn of the century (sounds so long ago when I phrase it that way), studying English Literature and Creative Writing. I had already published poetry, but wanted to hone my skills, so I took a senior workshop course under theContinue reading “Poking A Wound”

In Defense of Unmarketable Art

By Brian Kaufman Originally posted January 9, 2020 Happy New Year. If you make resolutions, you probably have a writing goal. It’s officially deep enough into January for you to question that goal. You may even be wondering whether or not you should write. Years ago, I took a Bob Ross painting class, having beenContinue reading “In Defense of Unmarketable Art”

Writing for Family

By Brian Kaufman Originally posted December 20, 2019 Writing for family is slightly different than writing about family. Writing about family may involve dysfunction. And that is a tricky matter, requiring honesty, compassion, and a thick skin. As well as a willingness to be abjured. I’m talking about telling the sort of stories that are recalled at family gatherings.Continue reading “Writing for Family”