Archive for May 9th, 2011

May 9, 2011

How to Write the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

I have to agree with Jennifer Egan about how spending too much energy on a project in any one day can affect the rhythm of the prose. I’ve found it can, too, but a good nap can start you up all over again. But then I don’t have two children to raise—I’m so lucky for that.

She, the writer of “A Visit From The Goon Squad,” attempts to hand-write five to seven pages a day. Some days she writes that much in an hour or two, sometimes it takes as much as four. She usually spends the extra time avoiding getting those pages written. She refuses to write more than that total because she finds it drains her energy too much and that badly affects its rhythm.

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May 9, 2011

A Few Words about Good Writing

The spoken and unspoken seconds of speech make writing real. Its reasoning and its opinions and its judgments make good writing come alive: it’s intimately personal to the reader that way. It’s the sarcasm and wit and sparring and opposite emotion between speakers which displays the most precise and appropriate words. Each dialogue or monologue must be one that’s awesome to read and awful to end, so that whatever follows pales in contrast for some time: “I remember every word he said, so I forget everything I’ve heard since we spoke.” Write speech that is as vivid as live action.

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