Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Process and Writing the Big Thing

As a reader, I'm endlessly curious about how/why a story was put together a certain way, which is why it's such a frequent question in my 5 (or so) questions interviews. It amazes me how writers can take so many different paths to get where they need to go.

So I was happy to see Fiction Writer's Review has compiled a series of quotes about the writing process from interviews they'd done with various authors, including 9L contributors Dan Chaon (vol. 4, no. 2) and Benjamin Percy (vol. 6, no. 2), in the FWR Flipbook: My Writing Process on their Facebook page. Links to the original FWR interviews where the quotes were pulled from are also included.

Today, The Millions posted Cathy Day's (vol. 6, no. 2) fascinating new essay, "The Story Problem: 10 Thoughts on Academia's Novel Crisis." It discuss how the typical workshop set up can discourage students working on longer projects ("The Big Thing"). Turns out when it comes to writing shorter isn't always better. The essay tackles a lot of interesting ground, including how to best help facilitate the kind of art a student/writer wants to create. It had me thinking about my own workshop experiences and remembering the joy of letting a project grow into something I could never have anticipated when I started. Be sure to check out Cathy's essay. It's a thought provoking read!

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