5 Lessons on writing from Raymond Carver: The Short Story

Five lessons on writing from short story master Raymond Carver

1) In an introduction to Where I’m Calling From, Ray Carver quotes a line from Babel’s Collected Stories:

“No iron can stab the heart with such force as a period put just in the right place.”

2) Of course, this applies to all writing! Later he quotes V.S. Pritchard’s definition of a short story as

“something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in passing.”

3) First the glimpse, he writes:

“Then the glimpse given life, turned into something that will illuminate the moment and just maybe lock it indelibly into the reader’s consciousness. Make it a part of the reader’s own experience, as Hemingway so nicely put it. Forever, the writer hopes. Forever.”

4) In his introduction to The Best American Short Stories 1986, which he edited, Carver lists 5 elements he considers important to a short story:

choices, conflict, drama, consequence, and narrative.

5) And last but not least, Carver believes:

“in the efficacy of the concrete word, be it noun or verb, as opposed to the abstract or arbitrary or slippery word–or phrase or sentence.”

2 thoughts on “5 Lessons on writing from Raymond Carver: The Short Story

Leave a Reply to Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s