Entries by Paul Reali

Mark West Reflects on 40 Years of Community Engagement in Charlotte

When we heard that Mark West was celebrating 80 semesters teaching at UNC Charlotte, we knew we had to do something to commemorate the occasion. Mark has been a tremendous supporter of Charlotte Lit, most notably through his fantastic blog Storied Charlotte, which has become an integral part of our community’s literary landscape. It’s almost […]

Pen to Paper Prompt: Choice

Election day is a good day to think about choice. Writing is all choice. The writer chooses, over and over again, from the vast catalog of everything. Some of the choices a writer makes include: • Who’s telling the story: narrator or narrators • Who else is in the story: supporting character or characters • Who are […]

The Schrödinger’s Cat of Writing: “Show, Don’t Tell”

“Show, don’t tell” is perhaps the most the famous, or infamous, instruction for writers. This reputation is deserved, as the phrase manages to be both absolutely right and dead wrong at the same time. It’s a kind of Schrödinger’s Cat, and knowing whether the rule is dead or alive, in a manner of speaking, can […]

Hearing Voices

Part of Charlotte Lit’s “Keeping Pen to Paper” Series. Writers who are developing their craft are frequently encouraged to find their voice. This can be confusing. Many of us write in many different forms — poems, personal essays, fiction, screeds, and so on — and different forms, even from the same writer, can require different […]

Show and Tell

Part of Charlotte Lit’s “Keeping Pen to Paper” Series. One of the great lies of writing instruction is “show don’t tell.” The truth is, you’ll need both. Here’s a quick primer, and an activity to help you to understand and use showing and telling. Showing is a catchier way of saying “in scene.” When we write […]

What do we owe each other?

Part of Charlotte Lit’s “Keeping Pen to Paper” Series. Today is (usually) tax day in the U.S., which got me thinking about the biblical exchange where Jesus is asked whether it’s lawful to pay tax to Caesar. He asks whose image is on their coins; they reply: ‘Caesar’s.’ To which Jesus says, ‘Then repay to […]

Using the Sense of Smell

Part of Charlotte Lit’s “Keeping Pen to Paper” Series. Writers paint a picture for our readers. We want them to see what we see, or what we’ve imagined. So it makes sense that the most of our writing focuses on what we see—that is, uses the sense of sight. But if you want to paint […]

Getting Lit at Home

So, you’re going to be spending a bit more time at home? You could binge Netflix, but we have some ideas for how to get more Lit. (Thanks to WCNC’s Charlotte Today for inviting us on to talk about these ideas.) Read more. We all have a stack on our nightstands. Plus, you can check […]