Monday, February 21, 2011


I've heard it said that one motive for artists is often revenge--the chance to make a story turn out the way it "should have." The chance to disguise a real-life enemy as a fictional villain. The opportunity to create something so amazing it "shows the world" what they overlooked.

I don't think revenge operates much in my own creative process. In fact, I rarely even use anger as a motivator. Everything I write when angry tends to come off priggish and didactic; apparently my Angry Writer Side cannot resist the soapbox. It's one reason I rarely rant on this blog. Some people can do angry writing in a very entertaining manner; some use angry writing to make great points. Nora Ephron's novel Heartburn is a perfect example of a revenge-based novel that really works as a piece of fiction.

For me, inspiration comes from another place. I seem driven to try to make human behavior understandable. Not necessarily justifiable or condoned or celebrated, but understandable.

Are you ever motivated by revenge or anger?

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