Author Archives: Carla Norton

A Tiny Pocket Guide for Writers

I met a woman at a party recently who was excited about introducing me to her seventeen-year-old daughter, who hopes to be a writer. At another party, I met a lawyer who is researching an interesting case that he plans to craft into fiction. A thousand things run through my mind when I’m pondering what to say to a person who shows an interest in writing. If I can share some advice, I’m happy to do it. But I always wish I had something more Continue reading →

Flip This Book!

When people ask, “How’s the writing coming?” they’re not really interested in our daily struggles with dialogue, plot points, or the resonance between the opening and closing images. They probably don’t care much about three-act structure, and will never read Syd Field or Robert McKee or Save the Cat. What they’re really asking is: “When will it be finished?” That can be a tough question. And I’ve struggled to come up with ways to explain to friends and family what the heck I do with Continue reading →

Esoterica, Plain & Simple

It may be a universal human weakness that we love to feel included in a special group, and as part of such, to share in special knowledge. We speak in acronyms. We namedrop. And I suspect that writers might own a slice more guilt here than most. Note the name of this group. Now, it seems likely that most writers—particularly those who live in New York—won’t even blink. They know the story. Some may have even wandered into the Algonquin Hotel, sat down in the Continue reading →