Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘process’

Shop Talk |


So, every once in a while a friend will toss out a great anecdote, or character, or fully formed story, with the caveat, “Go ahead and use this, because for X reason, I never will.” That’s one kind of leftover I really love, the wisp of an idea with which you can play around, experiment, test out your own bits and pieces and see if they play nice. One big type of literary leftover are posthumously published works by departed writers. The manuscript in the drawer, partially finished, with enough flesh on the bones to be provocative, evocative, worth reading. […]

Interviews |

Vampires are People, too: An Interview with Janice Eidus

NPR’s Marion Winik has called Janice Eidus’s latest novel, The Last Jewish Virgin, “Twilight…with a sense of humor, a brain, and a feminist subtext.” At the Algonquin hotel, Eidus talks with Lauren Hall about paying homage to—and reinventing—the vampire myth; judging a book by its cover; and writing longhand in the mountains of San Miguel de Allende.

Interviews |

Among Strangers: An Interview with Ruiyan Xu

“Writers can almost be defined as professional outsiders. It’s part of the job. You often have to step outside of a situation to observe it—to choose the right details—to reshape a mess of events into a narrative.”

Interviews |

Starting with Small Moments: An Interview with Andrew Porter

Polly Atwell talks with Andrew Porter about how crafting stories is like editing film, what particular advantages peripheral narrators can afford, and why it’s “completely surreal” to hear actors read from your work.

Interviews |

Listening to the Tiny Voice: An Interview with Kathryn Ma

Neela Banerjee talks with Kathryn Ma, the first Asian American to win the Iowa Prize in that contest’s 40-year history. Ma channels rage and its antidote, humor, in her debut collection, All That Work and Still No Boys, which features unapologetically Asian American characters who don’t do any cooking or talking to ghosts.

Shop Talk |

How They Write

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating look at how several writers get down to business–from writing in blue exam books to dressing in character to collage-making. Some highlights: Orhan Pamuk: Mr. Pamuk writes by hand, in graph-paper notebooks, filling a page with prose and leaving the adjacent page blank for revisions, which he inserts with dialogue-like balloons. He sends his notebooks to a speed typist who returns them as typed manuscripts; then he marks the pages up and sends them back to be retyped. Kazuo Ishiguro: Since his novels are written in the first person, the voice is crucial, […]