Thinking Will Kill Your Fiction

Jonathan Yardley praises Lynn Freed’s new memoir which deals mostly with the writing life, saying it’s on par with O’Connor’s and Welty’s books on writing–essential. The review is inspiring; the memoir probably is too:

Real writing gets done because the writer has to do it, not because he or she merely wants to do it. Thus Freed tells us that after the success of her wonderful second novel, “Home Ground,” she came under pressure to follow one success with another:

“I forgot everything I knew about ideas and fiction. But desperation and vanity does this to a writer: It makes her stupid. In fact, finding an idea for a novel is easy. I came up with one idea after another. In this case, coming up with an idea for a book was almost a guarantee that whatever I wrote to fit that idea would falter. The more obsessed I became with chasing down a plan, with wresting the idea into the confines of an abstraction, the more the real fiction eluded me. . . . I had deafened myself with thinking.”

1 Comment

  1. I tried to leave a comment on the post about site suggestions, but I couldn’t make the comment button there work????? Anyway, I like the site. It does load slowly on my browser (Safari), but it always has. I’m a regular reader, by the way; I followed Phil over here. I like the mix: some book news, some reviews, some other stuff.

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