How a Story Becomes a ‘Hopeful Thing’: George Saunders on His Writing Process

Saunders writes with more intelligence and awareness what I also go through as a process. It begins with a swift capturing of basic thoughts and elements I see and hear in a scene. After I’ve done that – writing like crazy, as I call it – I jump back into the process he describes to make it less lame, sharper and more vivid.

Longreads

At The Guardian, George Saunders reflects on his writing process. The magical, romantic notion where fully formed art leaps from the author’s brain on to the page? It dishonors the writer, the reader, and the work. In reality, it takes “hundreds of drafts” and “thousands of incremental adjustments” to form a story into a “hopeful thing.”

If you love George Saunders, check out the Anton Chekhov-George Saunders Humanity Kit and see what it’s like to take a literature course with Mr. Saunders, for yourself.

We often discuss art this way: the artist had something he “wanted to express”, and then he just, you know … expressed it. We buy into some version of the intentional fallacy: the notion that art is about having a clear-cut intention and then confidently executing same.

The actual process, in my experience, is much more mysterious and more of a pain in the…

View original post 298 more words

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “How a Story Becomes a ‘Hopeful Thing’: George Saunders on His Writing Process

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: