October 26

Birthdays: Andrew Niederman (1940), Steven Kellogg (1941), Pat Conroy (1945), Andrew Motion (1952), Stacy Schiff 91961), Jim Butcher (1971), Adam Mars-Jones (1954), Beryl Markham (1902), John L’Heureux (1934), Marisha Pessl (1977), Shan Sa (1972), Siphiwo Mahala (1970s?)

Tip: Try not to use non-descriptive terms such as “it” or “thing” when talking about a particular item. Make each word work.

Thought for the day: “Young writers often confuse dialogue with conversation, under the assumption that the closer you get to reality, the more convincing you sound. But dialogue is not conversation. Dialogue is a construct; it is artificial; it is much more efficient and believable than real conversation. Just as fiction itself distorts reality in order to achieve a larger truth, so dialogue eliminates all the false starts and irrelevant intrusions of real life in order to reveal character and move the encounter toward a dramatic conclusion.” – John L’Heureux

Jumpstart: “You kept it. All these years. Why?” (What is it? Who’s talking?)

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