Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Just when I needed it...

The winner of Glimmer Train's latest "Family Matters" contest, Erica Johnson Debeljak, talks about two pressing concerns of mine: becoming a writer later in life, and struggling with the pressure to write formulaic fiction. The two issues are not unrelated--if you aren't groomed from a young age in the American MFA system, you're more likely to look askance at the "hook-backstory-resolution" shape of the contemporary American short story. There's nothing wrong with the formula itself, only with leaving no room for anything different. Debeljak also talks about creating stories by juxtaposing two images or scenes, which Stephen King recommends as well.

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