Fiction Writing

Chris Orcutt’s Favorite Short Stories

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the backstory of my short story collection The Man, The Myth, The Legend, explaining what was happening in my…

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Backstory: The Story Behind Chris Orcutt’s The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Between 2010 and 2011, I wrote over thirty short stories, many of which appeared in The Man, The Myth, The Legend or as chapters of…

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On the Virtues of Being Able to Write Anywhere

Compared to other novelists I know or have read about, I’m something of an anomaly: I’m a novelist who can write just about anywhere. While…

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Backstory: The Story Behind the Second Dakota Stevens mystery, The Rich Are Different — Part 2

Last week, in Part 1 of the story behind The Rich Are Different, I described my experiences during 9/11 in Manhattan and the months following, and…

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Backstory: The Story Behind the Second Dakota Stevens mystery, The Rich Are Different — Part 1

The novel that became The Rich Are Different was written during the winter of 2001–02, over a year before I even conceived of the Dakota…

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Writing in Asian Restaurants

I’m writing this blog entry in one of my favorite Asian restaurants: Momiji in Rhinebeck, NY. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been writing…

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Backstory: The Story Behind the First Dakota Stevens Mystery, A Real Piece of Work

A Real Piece of Work and the entire Dakota Stevens Mystery Series might never have happened were it not for a bad office chair. During…

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Do Less, Achieve More

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of positive activity regarding my latest book, my memoir of the writing life, Perpetuating Trouble. But what…

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My new low-tech baby: The Olivetti Lettera 32.

Being a Novelist Isn’t a Job, It’s a Lifestyle

Back in December, after having completed the first draft of a 550,000-word, 1,600-page novel, I took a nearly month-long vacation (my first in years). For…

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Perpetuating Trouble: I’m Livin’ the Dream! Or Am I?

I’m pleased to announce the release of my personal memoir about the writing life, Perpetuating Trouble. I’ve been working on this book on and off since…

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Chris Orcutt walking in Vermont's Green Mountains, photo by Chris Orcutt

Only Have Time for Essentials

“At 46 one must be a miser; only have time for essentials.” — Virginia Woolf, diary, 3/22/1928 I stumbled upon this quotation earlier this week….

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Chris signing a copy of 100 MILES for a reader at the Junior League of Poughkeepsie Authors' Luncheon.

A Lovely Authors’ Luncheon with the Junior League of Poughkeepsie

Today I attended an Authors’ Luncheon hosted by the Junior League of Poughkeepsie. The luncheon was a benefit to raise money for a JLP–Dutchess Community…

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Photo by DAVID ILIFF

Dakota & Svetlana ARE Going to be a TV Series

I HAVE DECIDED that the adventures of Dakota & Svetlana are going to be a television series.     As I helped a friend with…

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Paying Attention as a Fiction Writer

I have been writing fiction since I was 13 years old, when I first read Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger and was swept away not only by the…

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Write to Support Your Writing: A Guest Spot on The Author Biz

Whether you’re an aspiring author or a working journeyman writer, Steve Campbell’s podcast The Author Biz is worth your time and attention. And I’m not saying…

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Kirkus Reviews Gives 100 Miles a Rave

More than anything, we writers want readers—particularly discerning readers and critics—to get our work. We want readers to see the parallels to other literature and to…

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"Rejection": A collage by Chris Blanc.

My Writing Secret Weapon

For as long as I’ve been writing—over 20 years professionally now—I’ve collected articles on writing, handwritten snatches from books on writing, examples from great authors,…

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Chris Orcutt's Barbaric Yawp

“I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”—Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass THE OTHER DAY, I wrote that I was going to “take it…

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His Pen Was Quick

On July 17, Mickey Spillane, creator of the infamous Mike Hammer PI series, died. He was 88, and by all accounts he lived a pretty cool life.

In addition to writing several bestselling novels that readers adored, Spillane played a mystery writer on the 70s TV show Columbo, appeared in several commercials for Miller Lite beer, and married a hot second wife, Sherri Manilou, who posed for the cover of his novel The Erection Set.

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