The 7am Novelist
The 7am Novelist
Day 36: Escalations & the Signature with Nicole Vecchiotti

Day 36: Escalations & the Signature with Nicole Vecchiotti

Our First Fifty-Day Writing Challenge

Phillip Gerard in his essay “An Architecture of Light” speaks of the idea of the Signature, a through-line that buttresses the ceiling of your novel so that it doesn’t sink in the middle (or collapse altogether). But that through-line also needs to rise and escalate for the book to reach that transcendent place (or that ceiling) to begin with. Helping us think through these ideas is writer Nicole Vecchiotti.


Nicole Vecchiotti has worked in the publishing since 1997—working at a large publishing house, with small boutique literary agents, booksellers, and even a book distribution company. In 2006, she founded Union Park Press, a Boston-based book publisher specializing in regional non-fiction. She sold the press in 2019, but her titles are still being published by Globe Pequot Press. Her Novel Incubator manuscript, Mommyland, is currently locked inside a drawer, screaming to get out while she finishes a second novel, The Weather Girl, a dark comedy featuring an ensemble of quirky characters, including a superhero trying to save the planet by stopping climate change, the meteorologist who leaves her family to join his cause, and the meteorologist’s son, who vows revenge against his one-time idol.  

Noted in this Podcast: “An Architecture of Light: Structuring the Novel and Story Collection” an essay by Philip Gerard in Creating Fiction edited by Julie Checkoway.

Also, here’s a link to George Saunders’ essay on Escalations:

And here’s Donald Barthelme’s story “The School” that Saunders bases his essay on: