Learning to Unfold
I went to a "craft lecture" by Samantha Chang today, and she talked about the art of "unfolding" in fiction writing. She was talking about a mile a minute, and every single word was utterly fascinating, and felt very relevent, and I was frantically scribbling a bunch of incoherent notes.
"fineness and squalidness of real people"
"Plot must not cease to move forward, but must have APPARENT variations in speed."
"SLOW DOWN after action so that readers can re-absorb."
"Important to have scenes that SEEM like nothing is happening, but something is."
an artist described himself (who?) as "an exposed nerve for whom art provided the only protective covering."
"In order for there to be revelation, there must be concealment."
"Read: William Maxwell - the Folded Leaf."
"As characters unfold, our opinion of them changes via the narrative."
Read: "Sarah Cole" by Russell Banks
It all seemed very profound at the time.
Now, my dilemma is this: to drive down to yet another gorgeous winery for another reading (Claire Messud) or stay here in the air conditioned splendor of my little room and write?