There are lots of conversations in the world about writing which focus on the benefit of the reader and what works for him or her, and of course all writers should care about that, but at the same time, the magic act of making something out of nothing is happening in the writer’s head, and it’s that brain that needs to be tended to first.
There may be readers who will — on discovering that A Questionable Shape combines a quest, a romance, humor, and an epidemic of zombies, with philosophy, footnotes, history, science, the arts, half of Daniel Webster, cascades of lyricism and truckloads of realism — refuse to so much as open the back cover. I wish they would rethink their decision.
Recommended Listening: David Sedaris presented three short stories while guest hosting WNYC’s Selected Shorts. The three stories were written by Amy Hempel, Tobias Wolff, and Frank Gannon, and each one has to do with “hard choices,” says Sedaris.