Writers Tricks of the Trade ISSUE 3, VOLUME 7 - Page 34

WHAT ARE THE CONTOURS OF YOUR STORY ? (C ONT ’ D ) forces us, as does horror and science fiction and alternative history to raise questions in scene one, chapter one, and to spend the rest of the story answering those questions. In the process of working and milking the form/shape, the empty form/shape (glass) is filled for the reader to take that dram(a) down with pleasure as the shape provides familiarity on the one hand and surprises on the other. Working within the age-old shape, your unique twist and your unique mind provides the surprises and a ‘sense’ you have created something completely fresh out of that old thing. R OBERT W. W ALKER is a graduate of Chicago’s Wells High School, Northwestern University, and the NU’s Graduate Masters in English Education program. Rob has taught writing in all its permutations (“All writing is creative writing but not all writing sings,” he says.) from composition and developmental to a study of the literary masters to creative and advanced creative writing. His first novel was one only an arrogant youth could have conceived — a sequel to Huckleberry Finn (now published as Daniel & The Wrongway Railway, Royal Fireworks Press, NY), but his first suspense-techno-thriller-sf-mystery came in 1979, after college, a novel that won no awards entitled SUB-ZERO. His greatest influences have been too many to list, but this is the top of the list: Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Alexander Dumas, Martin Cruz Smith, Thomas Thompson, Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, and more recently Patricia Cornwell, the person who finally unmasked Jack the Ripper (kudos to her!). F ALL 2017 P AGE 26 W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE TRADE