Monday, December 1, 2014

Writing Advice from Flannery

Let’s start the week—and the brutally paced month of December—with some no-nonsense writing advice from Flannery O’Connor.  I promise to follow all these rules if I can come up with a story as darkly perfect as “Greenleaf”!

Here’s one bit of advice that seems especially apt for me at this point in my process:

2. Try arranging [your novel] backwards and see what you see. I thought this stunt up from my art classes, where we always turn the picture upside down, on its two sides, to see what lines need to be added. A lot of excess stuff will drop off this way.

And I love #8:

I know that the writer does call up the general and maybe the essential through the particular, but this general and essential is still deeply embedded in mystery. It is not answerable to any of our formulas.


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