Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New interests

I'm still here. I've been writing less and doing more reading, thinking, listening, reflecting. I've been taking time to watch news (a lot of news) and taking time to turn off the news. I've been recharging with a sudoku puzzle or a library book or a walk.

My writing has changed. Since completing my most recent novel manuscript (unpublished) about a year ago, I've been writing mostly nonfiction. I've been reading a lot more nonfiction--and yet I've developed new appreciation for novels when I dip back into them. Nonfiction is beholden to the literal facts, which are not always neat or satisfying. But we can engineer fiction so that the story reads economically--no using five different characters where one will do, for example--and we can make sure every detail has meaning and significance. We can answer the major questions, never needing to leave holes in the story as we sometimes must do in nonfiction.

So I still like reading novels, but I'm embracing both short and long nonfiction with increasing interest. I don't know where this will take me. Part of the joy in artistic pursuits is just this sort of exploration, this finding out.

2 comments:

  1. I've been reading more nonfiction lately, too. For a while I thought I wanted to tackle a "big" nonfiction project, but realized I prefer the freedom of not having to document every single line. That being said, I hope you go for it so I can read the fruit of your research labors!

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    1. So far I've been writing short nonfiction--my last couple of publications have been short NF. But I'm open to seeing where this will lead.

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