Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Notebook: Francine Prose on Reading Like a Writer

What happens to the notes that you take at all the ba-jillion writing conferences/talks you attend? If you’re like me, they sit around, unlooked at for years. I’ve decided to spend the week digging up some of those notes and pulling out some nuggets. These are paraphrased (not direct quotations), attributed as closely as I can, considering I’m pulling them from scribbled notes.

From Francine Prose’s keynote speech at the American Independent Writers Conference in Washington, DC, 2007:

--keep a mental rolodex of what writers do well, i.e. the party scene in Joyce’s “The Dead”

--examples of what to look for when you read:
Balance between:
--dialogue and thought
--scene and summary

--when you find yourself thinking “I can’t do this,” find an author who did that and see how

--isn’t the point to do what no one else has done?


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.