Monday, August 22, 2016

Okay... so here:

Let's say you have a chunk of a novel that's not working. The story is in place, more or less, but the urgency or voice or the sentence-to-sentence chemistry is off. You don't need to change the story as much as you need to change how its told. What if, as a completely cocky exercise, you sit down and write the first paragraph of the novel as if it were written by Marquez then Aimee Bender then Michael Cunningham then Colson Whitehead then Stephen King then Atwood then Zadie Smith. [Insert your own author-picks here -- and, of course, specific books.] It's not that your work would end up sounding like theirs (what a lovely problem you'd have then) but you'd find, perhaps, a new way in -- a new and inspired way in.