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Titles are hard to keep thinking of

I have a teeny bit o’ froth up at LitSnack – Wednesdays Go Like This. I think someone challenged me to write a flash with the word bilious in. Which I did.

I went to London yesterday and met up with a few writing chums. It’s a little like internet dating in that we met online and know each other through our writing but hadn’t met in real life. You get a fair idea of what someone is like through their words and fictions, but I was still nervous. No need though, they were all lovely. Phew.

Perfect first date night for writers? Lorrie Moore in conversation with John Mullan as part of the Guardian Book Club. Ah Lorrie, how I love you. She seems so unflappable, calm, wise, witty, beautiful, and oh boy is she talented.

I think a podcast of the event will be up at some point at the Guardian, and I didn’t take notes but I think she said the following:

In a short story she will write a beginning without knowing the end, then the end comes to her and she’ll write that, go back and write the middle to unite the two parts. (I find that interesting because though I may begin with only the vaguest idea of what I am doing I still plug away at it in order. I work towards an ending, but I never stop, write the end and then get the two parts to meet. I may give it a go.)

That a short story focuses in on something out of the ordinary in a character’s life – illness, death, divorce, an affair etc – and in the examination of that event we will have the “ordinary” revealed too.

In answer to the accusation that all her work is melancholic she responded by saying that all life is underpinned by the knowledge that we will die so is inevitably melancholy.

Erm, lots more, but I think it’ll have to wait for someone who actually took notes to blog it, or for the podcast.

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2 responses »

  1. I'll be interested to hear that audio. Currently reading Lorrie Moore's 'Who Will Run Frog Hospital.'Interesting to hear she writes that way. I often write the final line of a short story before I start it, so I know where I am heading. Having said that, the characters often have their own ideas and we end up quite a distance from where I thought we might.

    Reply
  2. Hey, good stuff with the litsnack!I just deleted many pages of dialogue because my characters insisted on spouting their own words. I am in charge – they don't listen though…I have stories start all over the place…sometimes they come out one way and I chop them up…for fun…for wordly destructive purposes or to make a new plot shape…or something elsse I haven't worked out yet…whatever works!

    Reply

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