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Showing posts from January, 2011

Can you trace the heart of your story? Great racehorses like Secretariat can.

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Several years ago, I read the essay "Mt. T's Heart," by novelist Jane Smiley, the first essay in the collection The Greatest Horse Stories Ever Told.I've been fascinated by the idea of "great hearts" ever since--both the hearts of horses, and the hearts of stories.  If the stories we love to read over and over again endure because of this hard-to-measure quality, how can we ensure that the heart of the story we're writing now will tick on and on?  If you could weigh the heart of your story—feel its pulse in the palm of your hand—could you trace its genetic greatness back to the works of the authors whom you most admire?  Would there be a “felt” line of descent between your story and the first story you ever read as a child that made your heart race, perhaps Mary O’Hara’s My Friend Flicka or John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony?  What do I mean by “felt line of descent?” Let’s use a metaphor and explore the literal and figurative “heart” of the race horse, SECR…

The Votes areTallied!

Thanks for voting everyone!  It was a close race but WRITERS OVER 40 ROCK won by a nose as your favorite blog post of 2010.  Wonder what the winning blog vote indicates about the average age of my readers?  It means you all rock!!