Thursday, February 12, 2009
One of the writers who was on staff last year at the Squaw Valley Fiction Writers Workshop, Janet Fitch, has a blog, which I've added to my links list.
Fitch is the author of White Oleander and Paint it Black, both of which are quite dark, but are also incredibly compelling stories and gorgeously written. They are definitely worth reading.
And she was great at the workshop last year. Her afternoon session on dialog was terrific and very helpful. I also loved that in person she didn't seem like someone who'd write dark books. She was friendly and down-to-earth and came across as very together--not tortured and angst-filled like so many of her characters.
Why would that appeal to me? Because I don't seem like someone who'd write dark books either! In fact, someone who knows me and just read my novel, was surprised at how dark and profanity-laden it was. ("I didn't know you had such a potty mouth!" were her precise words.)
That's something that non-writers don't seem to get about us story-tellers: we make things up.
Writing fiction gives me the freedom to be anyone, act like anyone, explore any issue, imagine what it'd feel like to be in any situation. I get to set aside my compulsion to be nice and do the right thing all the time. I can act like a jerk. I can experience terrible hurts and tragedies without really experiencing them.
It's great to pretend to be another person! It's a freedom that's probably limited to kids and actors and spies.
And fiction writers!
Anyway, I really liked Janet Fitch's blog. Check it out. Read her books. And she's going to be at Squaw again this year for anyone who wants to see first-hand that one doesn't have to seem like a dark person to write dark stories.