Welcome to the Craft section here at Mason’s Road. In keeping with the educational piece of our magazine’s mission, we offer this section in the hopes that it will serve as a place for conversations about the craft of writing – what makes a piece succeed or not; how one author achieves a certain effect in comparison to the way another author might; the issues we encounter in our own work. We believe there are many lessons in the works we’ve read, and much we can teach one another by participating in an open forum.
For this issue, the theme we are exploring is Narrative Arc. We are pleased to publish two excellent essays with very different takes on the subject. Don Noel borrows from his considerable experience as a journalist for his craft essay, taking a key tenet of solid reporting – the lede – and reframing it to examine the opening salvos of several novels. Matthew Winkler begins his piece by posing an ethical question about truth in memoir; his essay delves into a discussion of craft elements before it arcs full circle by the end.
We invite you to read this work and contribute your thoughts in our comments section. In your own work, what challenges have you faced in forging a piece’s narrative path? How have you met with these? From whose work do you draw inspiration?
We look forward to your reflections!
Brian Hoover & Dennis Quinn