The Jane Smiley Pyramid

I survived the AWP Conference last weekend, and now I’m here to share all I learned with the world. One of the panels I went to featured Jane Smiley, and as you might expect from a Pulitzer-Prize-winning author, she had some useful things to say.

Speaking on the elements on fiction, Jane Smiley broke them down into a triangle that I find very useful both for writing and also for discussing writing. It’s a hierarchy of story-needs:

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