Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kevin Brockmeier on Process

"What else? I can tell you that I never begin working on a story until I have a title centered at the top of the first page. I think of the title as the target toward which I shoot the arrow of the story. Then, title in place, I broach my sentences one tiny piece at a time, termiting away at them until I'm satisfied that they present the right effect. Often I become attached to certain simple words — city, song, half, pocket, dead, ceiling, house, silence, wound, light — words that call little attention to themselves, that have nothing antique about them, but that seem to trail a thousand centuries of stories behind them, arriving in a great dust cloud of possibilities."

You can read more here.


Ethel Rohan said...

I'm with Brockmeier on much of this article (esp.Victor LaValle's BIG MACHINE), but am surprised by his process: starting with a title, writing toward that title, and perfecting his work line by line. In MHO this would seem to inhibit creativity and force the work. Clearly, though, it works for him.

Andrew Roe said...

Yeah, I don't think I could work that way either. But everybody's different. Hope your reading went well over the weekend.

Lauren Becker said...

hey andy: your way clearly works for you -- you are one (ethel, too!) whose work I always read when i see it. we all have our ways; very few rules are universal.

(non sequitur here, but i have to say that i love that you made termite into a verb. i might steal that, but i'll probably use a different insect.) :-)