A couple years ago, Catherine Brady spoke at the California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch meeting. She impressed me and I bought her book, Story Logic and the Craft of Fiction. I highly recommend it as an indepth study for the craft of writing. Brady is the author of three story collections. Her Curled in the Bed of Love won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and The Mechanics of Falling was a winner of the Northern California Book Award for Fiction. She teaches on the MFA in the Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.
In the writing class I teach, we finished Wired for Story by Lisa Cron as a class text. I recommended we use Brady’s book next and the members agreed. I’m looking forward to reading it again. Each page is a jewel of wisdom.
For example on Page Five, Brady states, “Plot is an attitude toward the subject as much or more than it is a technique—an instinct for selecting those moments in the story line at which events offer the greatest promise for provoking uncertainty in the reader. Meaning is only compellingly elusive when the reader must struggle to reconcile the tension that arises from plot.” A few sentences later she quotes Chekhov, “The writer, like a judge instructing a jury, ‘is obliged to submit the case fairly, but let the jury do the deciding, each according to its own judgment.’ Like a judge, the writer remains silent at critical junctures—but not silent on which information is relevant to judgement.” Brady then quotes Milan Kundera, “A novel does not assert anything; a novel searches and poses questions…The novelist teaches the reader to comprehend the world as a question.”