Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘metaphors for writing’

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Is literary monogamy overrated?

The Millions has a wonderful essay by Jeffrey Eugenides on his process of writing his latest novel, The Marriage Plot. It began with what he called “an act of literary adultery”: In the late 90s, during an impasse in the writing of Middlesex, I put the manuscript aside. (I hadn’t fallen out of love, exactly, but I wasn’t sure where the relationship was headed.) Over the following weeks I began flirting with another novel, not a comic epic like Middlesex but a more traditional story about a wealthy family throwing a debutante party. At first, the new novel seemed to […]

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Spider-Man, and killing your darlings

Last week, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark fired its director, Julie Taymor. Already the most expensive musical in Broadway history, Spider-Man has been universally panned by critics—and it hasn’t even officially opened yet. The show’s decision to let Taymor go was apparently in part due to her refusal to alter the script, even when everyone around her agreed it wasn’t working. Reports the New York Times: According to four of her colleagues, Ms. Taymor boxed herself into a corner with the producers in the last few weeks by rebuffing their requests to allow outsiders to make changes to the show. […]

Essays |

Quotes & Notes: The Writer as Apprentice

“Young writers should be encouraged to write, and discouraged from thinking they are writers. If they arrive at college with literary ambitions, they should be told that everything they have done since their first childhood poems, printed in the school paper, has been preparation for entering a long, long apprenticeship.” —Wallace Stegner, On Teaching and Writing Fiction

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Much Better Than Setting Fires: Chuck Palahniuk at "The Muse and the Marketplace"

Grub Street is an independent not-for-profit writing center in Boston that runs writing classes as well as an annual literary conference, The Muse and the Marketplace. At the most recent Muse, Chuck Palahniuk was the keynote speaker, and even if you missed the conference, you can watch his speech below. Palahniuk tells the story of a very bad night in Paris on book tour and offers some possible metaphors for writing, as well as advice on eating cheese in France (!): Chuck Palahniuk from Grub Street on Vimeo. You can also listen to last year’s keynote address (in MP3 format) […]