Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘narration’

Shop Talk |

Stories We Love: "Meneseteung"

More than any single story I can think of, this is the story that’s had the most radical impact on my writing. Reading it for the first time was one of those mind-shattering “You can do that in fiction?!” moments. It’s a very un-Alice-Munro-like Alice Munro story. Told in the first person, in numbered sections, it recounts the narrator’s attempt to reconstruct the life of an obscure Victorian poet, Almeda Roth, through newspaper clippings, book excerpts, and historical records. The story itself is well told, as you’d expect anything by Munro to be, with layer upon layer of detail. Each […]


Shop Talk |

Lit and video games: a forbidden love story?

Why aren’t more novelists writing video games? That’s what the Guardian asked recently: Part of the problem is clearly to do with priorities. As the game writer and former critic Rhianna Pratchett says in the film: “Story is often the last thing thought about and the first thing pulled apart.” So much effort goes into making spectacular worlds, tackling the technical logistics and ensuring the playing experience is enjoyable that decent plot and dialogue fall by the wayside. Yet there are trickier issues involved. As a few people say in the film, gaming presents a unique challenge in terms of […]


Essays |

Writing the Great American Novel Video Game

For some time I was one of few standing firmly in both camps—writer and gamer, fiction-fiend and pixel-popper. But the innovative nature of Next-Gen gaming, with its leaps in technology and massive install-base, means games have developed new depth–and the future of gaming promises to look a lot more like literature than flight simulators. This is, in many ways, the rise of a new novel. Like its lexicographic predecessor, the pixilated form revels in moral ambiguity, character motivations, conflicts between free will and fate.


Essays |

Writing the Great American Novel Video Game

For some time I was one of few standing firmly in both camps—writer and gamer, fiction-fiend and pixel-popper. But the innovative nature of Next-Gen gaming, with its leaps in technology and massive install-base, means games have developed new depth–and the future of gaming promises to look a lot more like literature than flight simulators. This is, in many ways, the rise of a new novel. Like its lexicographic predecessor, the pixilated form revels in moral ambiguity, character motivations, conflicts between free will and fate.


Reviews |

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, by Kazuo Ishiguro

In his gem of a first story collection, Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (Knopf, 2009), acclaimed novelist Kazuo Ishiguro explores variations on temptations performers face: to deny their own humanity for the sake of high art, or career advancement. Music is an art of immersion. Like water–which can be experienced only through drinking it or actually getting wet–the suggestion of music ripples only in the mind. Writing (or reading) about music puts us outside the place where we experience it, in the same way that a watcher of rivers stands on the shore. Ishiguro, like a consummate outsider, lures his first-person narrators onto a deceptively quiet bank, the better to confront them with the whirlpool at the center of each story.



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