Author Topic: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others  (Read 33533 times)

Online Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,708
  • I'm marching for her!
About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« on: August 02, 2007, 04:11:35 pm »
I have some notes from talks by Annie Proulx that I attended and also a panel discussion of Wyoming writers that I'd like to summarize here. In addition, another literary conference is coming up in Cheyenne and I'll have info about it.

May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline MaineWriter

  • Bettermost Supporter!
  • Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 14,044
  • Stay the course...
    • Bristlecone Pine Press
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 04:28:53 pm »
Thank you, Lee. Please do summarize and share!

L
Taming Groomzilla<-- support equality for same-sex marriage in Maine by clicking this link!

Online Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,708
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 09:07:35 am »
Toast has posted this piece by AP from the New York Times.

http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php?topic=12384.msg234285;boardseen#
May 2019 be better for us all.

Online Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,708
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2007, 03:02:11 pm »
Garrison Keillor has insightful thoughts on the craft of writing during his weekly monologue about Lake Woebegone on the special literary broadcast of The Prairie Home COmpanion.

More about the program, and download:

http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/2007/08/11/
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline brokebackjack

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • Brokeback Got Me Good
  • *****
  • Posts: 817
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2007, 05:16:03 am »
thanks Lee!
"I couldn't stand it no more so i fixed it"

Online Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,708
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2008, 09:34:04 pm »
I was forging ahead on my nonfiction writing, but the fiction was languishing. I blamed it on my lack of imagination. I planned novels and wrote outlines, but I couldn't follow up. Finally, I reached a breakthru. Instead of outlines, I wrote a 2- or 3-page summary. I'm finding it so much easier to follow a summary instead of an outline. For some reason, I feel duty-bound to stray from any outline I create! My most recent novel idea is called "A Boy and His Truck." Just a working title. I have nearly 100 pages written and so far a boy has appeared only in flashback, and a truck has not appeared at all!!
May 2019 be better for us all.

Marge_Innavera

  • Guest
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2008, 09:49:53 am »
I was forging ahead on my nonfiction writing, but the fiction was languishing. I blamed it on my lack of imagination. I planned novels and wrote outlines, but I couldn't follow up. Finally, I reached a breakthru. Instead of outlines, I wrote a 2- or 3-page summary. I'm finding it so much easier to follow a summary instead of an outline. For some reason, I feel duty-bound to stray from any outline I create! My most recent novel idea is called "A Boy and His Truck." Just a working title. I have nearly 100 pages written and so far a boy has appeared only in flashback, and a truck has not appeared at all!!

I need to do more of that!

One of the things I've discovered as a newbie fiction writer (i.e., this is probably old news to experienced ones!) is that you can plot out chapters and generally write them in sequence but when some good ideas, plot lines, dialogue, etc. for some future chapter pops into your mind for any reason you'd better write it down all at once.  Taking a linear approach -- "I'll write that down when the time comes to do that chapter" -- results in quite a lot of lost material.

Apparently Annie Proulx learned that a long time ago, jotting down small but important bits as they come:

Quote
I need to know which mushrooms smell like maraschino cherries and which like dead rats, to note that a magpie in flight briefly resembles a wooden spoon, to recognize vertically trapped suppressed lee-wave clouds; so much of this research is concerned with four-dimensional observation and notation. These jottings go into cheap paper-covered notebooks that I keep in a desultory fashion, more often onto the backs of envelopes and the margins of newspapers, from there onto the floor of the truck or onto the stair landing atop a stack of faxes and bills.

(quoted from http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,12384.msg234496.html#msg234496  - thanks, Toast!)


Online Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,708
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2008, 11:42:31 am »
What a great quote, Marge! I can just SEE her, in her truck, climbing the stairs, etc.

Funny that she hardly ever talks about the computer.

One thing it's great for is organizing things that aren't linear!!

May 2019 be better for us all.

Online Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,708
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2010, 02:44:45 pm »
I was reading about the concept of the Easter Egg, which is used in literature but more often in software and videogames, and wondered if it would be a good way to describe the way Annie Proulx puts hidden meanings into her works, such as making Jack a bullrider, the coffeepot and bucket, the salt shaker.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Online Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,708
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 09:43:20 pm »
NPR had four writers saying pithy things about writing on August 29. I loved the way Ursa Le Guin described "crowding" and "leaping", both of which Annie Proulx does in her writing. Catch the interview here: http://www.npr.org/2015/08/29/435549081/ursula-k-le-guin-steers-her-craft-into-a-new-century

The other writers quoted were Elizabeth Gilbert, who's everywhere these days. She was quoting, surprisingly, Tom Waits as an inspiration on Radiolab's "Me, Myself and Muse". There's also some scary stuff from the late Oliver Sacks.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Sason

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,993
  • Bork bork bork
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2015, 01:30:12 pm »
Haha, my first reaction to this was "Why would writing on August 29 be any different from writing on any other day?"   :laugh:

Düva pööp is a förce of natüre

Online Front-Ranger

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,708
  • I'm marching for her!
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 06:28:01 pm »
Maybe I should have phrased it:

On August 29, NPR had four writers saying pithy things about writing. I loved the way Ursa Le Guin described "crowding" and "leaping", both of which Annie Proulx does in her writing. Catch the interview here: http://www.npr.org/2015/08/29/435549081/ursula-k-le-guin-steers-her-craft-into-a-new-century

[/quote]
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Sason

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,993
  • Bork bork bork
Re: About writing--from Annie Proulx and others
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2015, 03:19:27 pm »
Yup, no room for misunderstanding now!  ;D

But I did get it the first time too.   :)

Düva pööp is a förce of natüre