Alice Munro, Short Fiction, Character Development
Art of Writing
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Chapter Beginnings, Revising Scenes, Settings, Vivid Characters
Characters in novels
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Details in fiction
Fairfield University Low-Residency MFA
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Flash Fiction by Adele Annesi
French Women Books
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Jamie Cat Callan
Jamie Cat Callan, Bonjour Happiness!
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Patterns in Long Fiction, Novel Writing and Patterns, E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel
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Revising Your Writing, Editing, The Best Time to Revise Your Writing
Show Versus Tell, Difficult Themes, Writing Strong Scenes
Spirituality, Internal Weather, Change for Writers
Top Italian Male Authors, Gianni Celati
Writers and Freedom
Writers Emotional Journey
Writing Fiction, a Guide to Narrative Craft
Twentieth-century Sicilian writer Maria Messina explores the link between life in Italy and the Italian American experience, and the effects of despair. Behind Closed Doors, a collection of Messina's short work, depicts Sicilian village life, and a people caught between the enslaving effects of tradition, and the yearning for freedom and hope.
"Her Father's House," one story in the compilation, is the portrait of young newlywed Vanna, who leaves the home of her oppressive, acquisitive husband in Rome, and returns to her father's house and the promise of more from life. Instead, she finds a family who takes her return as an omen and a sign of shame.
The story's poignancy is revealed in Messina's deft handling of the inescapable sense of being excluded from the gift of hope. With frankness and simplicity, the writer depicts this reality by tracing Vanna's choice to leave her husband's house and return to her father's house, and finally to her first love, the sea. With sensitivity and artistry, Messina reveals, rather than describes, the effects of isolation, a fine example of a writer who resisted the temptation to tell instead of show, and whose work is the better for it.
For more on show versus tell, and difficult themes in writing, visit, Writer's Digests "10 Ways to Launch Strong Scenes."