Compelling stories have the power to generate infinite wonder: It's nearly impossible to imagine how the author began, and yet we sense there's much more beyond the final word. It's this mysterya combination of inspiration and craft, smoke and mirrorsthat makes writing feel momentous. But it can also feel overwhelming, causing us to become small, scared, not quite ready for the "big" rides, such as finishing that story, that novel, and finding the courage to share it with the world.
In You Must Be This Tall to Ride, you'll find 20 works of fiction and nonfiction by acclaimed contemporary authors, each offering fresh perspective on ''coming of age'' (a story to which we can all relate), as well as exclusive personal essays and practical exercises.
In their own words, these writers grant you a guided tour of craft with unparalleled access to the process behind their creation, including how to:
grow a story from the seed of an image or sentence
allow experiments with language to lead you to plot
turn even the most unlikely characters into heroes
transform raw anecdotes from your own life into compelling fiction and essay
Join 20 writers as we grow up and down, taking a rollercoaster ride in stories. You'll not only begin to understand what makes the wheels of a story turn, you'll also gain the tools and strategies to transform lost characters and runaway plots into the greatest show on earth. So go ahead, step right up. Listen for the calliope music, and take your place in line.
Your ride has just begun.
Laura van den Berg
Ryan Van Meter
B. J. Hollars is a student in the MFA programme at the University of Alabama. His short fiction has been published in many journals and has earned the Davenport Fiction Prize and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize. He is a book reviewer for bookslut.com and a staff member for the literary journal Black Warrior Review.