Elsewhere on Writing

Maureen McHugh (my yoga hero) on thickening the plot:

We are so hardwired to make assumptions about other people’s interior states, that we make assumptions about all sorts of interior states. We personify stuff. We describe houses as ‘happy’ or ‘gloomy’. We think that the grocery cart has it in for our car door. We think that characters in fiction are people. We can leap to rather complex assumptions about them on the basis of fairly flimsy details. The details that we find most telling tend to be their actions. So in fact, part of character is what I describe them doing, and if I think of situation and describe characters acting in the situation, I am in fact characterizing as much as I am generating plot.

Alan at the LBC on poetry and fiction informing each other:

Which is a roundabout way of saying, I think, that the poetry reading and writing that I was doing post-MFA was beginning to have an effect on my fiction–but not in sense of a specific technique, but rather a mindset–or let’s even call it a position–that I wanted to take with my writing. That I wanted to push myself into real engagement with the world, and how I was situated within it. Sometimes, but not always, that led to a more political type writing; it also, for sure, helped open up the aversion to philosophy that I’d harbored for some time, and began to read philosophers speculatively, in ways that could open up new ways for me of looking at both writing poems or stories. These are obviously tenative baby steps, and when I mention being "comfortable" earlier, I should make it clear that this involved being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

And, finally, David Lubar says it short and sweet:

An insprirational message for any writer who has gone online to procrastinate: There is nothing on the internet as interesting as the book you are supposed to be writing. Get back to work.

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