The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Volume 2: Inspiration and Discipline

Inspiration and Discipline: the more private aspects of writing lives.
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The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction
Volume 2: Inspiration and Discipline
Edited by Susan Burmeister-Brown and Linda B. Swanson-Davies
Writer's Digest Books, 2007
ISBN 978-1-58297-447-7
$19.99 hardcover, 448 pages

Survey Our Literary Landscape From the Open Window of Glimmer Train

What drives you to write? How does a particular piece of writing come to exist?

In Inspiration and Discipline, the second volume in our Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction series, more than one hundred accomplished authors set aside talk of character and scene in order to address the more private and elusive aspects of their writing lives. In excerpts from interviews conducted over a seventeen-year period and preserved by the editors of the highly respected literary quarterly Glimmer Train Stories and its supplement Writers Ask, contemporary writers offer insights on such topics as family support (or lack thereof), using autobiographical material, and the responsibility of writing—sharing their own personal and philosophical approaches to this most strange, heartbreaking, and wonderful of artistic vocations.

  • Jayne Anne Phillips
  • Thisbe Nissen
  • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Thom Jones
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  • Beverly Lowry
  • Siri Hustvedt
  • Richard Bausch
  • Charles Baxter
  • Sue Miller
  • Ha Jin

 There may never be an explanation for where stories come from, but the wisdom, humor, and advice of the writers in these pages will provide you with the inspiration you need to keep your writing life moving forward.

Writing Multiple Timelines and Points of View

Writing Multiple Timelines and Points of View

YA author Natalie Lund gives her top reasons why writers who might be afraid to play with multiple timelines and/or points of view should jump in feet first.

Alexander Weinstein: On Writing a Thematic Short Story Collection

Alexander Weinstein: On Writing a Thematic Short Story Collection

Author Alexander Weinstein discusses how he came to select the theme of his new short story collection, Universal Love, and what it was like to see those themes reflected in the real world.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a blank me poem.

4 Tips for Writing about Family Grudges

4 Tips for Writing about Family Grudges

Author Samantha Downing discusses the techniques she used when writing her literary novel He Started It, which focuses on family secrets, old grudges, and lots of scores to settle.

W.A. Winter: On the Joys of Writing Crime Fiction

W.A. Winter: On the Joys of Writing Crime Fiction

Crime and suspense author W.A. Winter discusses why he decided on fiction over true crime for his latest novel, The Secret Lives of Dentists, and how writing this book brought him joy.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a Love and/or Anti-Love poem.

Stationery vs. Stationary (Grammar Rules)

Stationary vs. Stationery (Grammar Rules)

Learn the differences of stationary and stationery on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

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Liminal Spaces: A Profile of Erik Larson

WD gives a peek at the daily routine of Erik Larson and the writing process behind his bestselling narrative nonfiction in this Nov/Dec 2020 profile by Zachary Petit.