Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How do you set up a narrative? Like this

This is an old story I came across the other day, but I wanted to pass it along because it has one of the best opening sections I've read in a while. "The Accused," by Paige Williams, starts at that one vital moment in time, and ends by ushering you into what the story is really about.

Monday, January 30, 2012

'Whiskey Robber' about to be free

If you read "Ballad of the Whiskey Robber," you'll know what this is about. If you didn't, you gotta read it. Great, great book. GREAT book.

P.S. Since I couldn't embed the tweet with a live link, Julian Rubinstein is here on Twitter if you want to follow his tweets about Ambrus.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When sourcing comes grudgingly, if at all

The Boston Globe's Sally Jacobs obviously had a tough time getting people on the record for her profile about Cathy Greig, longtime companion of accused mobster Whitey Bulger. I thought her treatment of that fact was interesting; it begins in the story's 19th graf, so, fairly early, and it's used as a way to help paint the portrait of Greig:

Yet there is one tradition that remains largely unaffected by the tide of change, and that is the code of silence that has long prevailed in Southie. At least it remains the rule for some when the subject has anything to do with the infamous Whitey. Bulger is securely locked in the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, his criminal empire is long gone, and many of his former associates talk and write freely about him without apparent consequence. But many in the neighborhood, and even some who no longer live there, still don’t want to say a word about him. Or about Greig.
High school classmates of Greig’s abruptly hang up the phone when asked about her. Class officers, who still live in the area, brusquely turn away. Boston City Councilor Bill Linehan, who was a member of the class of 1969, declined to be interviewed. Those that are willing to talk about her insist that their names not be used.
“Are you kidding? Nobody wants to talk about her,’’ said one Southie resident who attended school with Greig.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fairly well-known writer, name of King, talks about where ideas come from and other stuff

Semi-gratuitous post about Stephen King, since I'm a sucker for pretty anything he does and have posted about him several times here.

Anyway, this is an interview from The Atlantic in which he talks about ideas -- getting them and managing them -- and other writing topics.

Most startling to me was a quote that, when I thought about it, could apply to any big writing project, and really serves as a piece of inspiration: "I never started a book that I expected to finish," he said. "Because it always feels like a job that's much too big for a little guy like me."