There's a kind of tension that if I'm getting a story right I can feel right away, and I don't feel that when I try to write a novel. I kind of want a moment that's explosive, and I want everything gathered into that.
Luck took me right out of myself - I read it in one gulp, and it never let me down. Sharp and surprising but always responsible, no tricks for tricks' sake; so satisfying, with its shifting and puzzles. So much fiction turns out to be diversion, in spite of fancy claims, and doesn't really look at anything. Well - this does.
Things have changed, ofcourse. There are counsellors at the ready. Kindness and understanding. Life is harder for some, we're told. Not their fault, even if the blows are purely imgainery. Felt just as keenly by the recipient, or the non recipient, as the case may be. But good use can be made of everything, if you are willing.
I want my stories to be something about life that causes people to say, not, oh, isn't that the truth, but to feel some kind of reward from the writing, and that doesn't mean that it has to be a happy ending or anything, but just that everything the story tells moves the reader in such a way that you feel you are a different person when you finish.
It's not possible to advise a young writer because every young writer is so different. You might say, "Read," but a writer can read too much and be paralyzed. Or, "Don't read, don't think, just write," and the result could be a mountain of drivel. If you're going to be a writer you'll probably take a lot of wrong turns and then one day just end up writing something you have to write, then getting it better and better just because you want it to be better, and even when you get old and think, "There must be something else... Read more »
I saw how the forms of love might be maintained with a condemned person but with the love in fact measured and disciplined, because you have to survive. It could be done so discreetly that the object of such care would not suspect, any more than she would suspect the sentence of death itself.
It's certainly true that when I was young, writing seemed to me so important that I would have sacrificed almost anything to it ... Because I thought of the world in which I wrote -- the world I created -- as somehow much more enormously alive than the world I was actually living in.