Sarah Stone at Why There are Words

Faculty member Sarah Stone will read Thursday,September 13th at the Why There are Words Literary Reading Series.  The reading will take place from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Studio 333 in Sausalito, CA.  Visit Why There are Words for more information.

In the meantime, you can read Sarah’s interview for the series:

Your use of colors in your writing is so powerful. What is your philosophy behind how and why you use color?

SS:  Like you, I’m both a visual artist and a writer. My undergraduate degree is in painting, and I’m still fascinated by color and shape. My paintings were primarily huge and full of animals: peacocks, aardvarks, poison arrow frogs, wild pigs who’d thought they were rocks until they woke up. They became more and more narrative as I went on. Finally I just began to write. My early drafts aren’t visual at all though. And they don’t have any plot worth mentioning. It’s all people eating, having sex, and talking about politics. Worse, agreeing about politics. Full of exposition and explanation. I’m doing it again in my new book. This very morning, the characters were in a giant industrial kitchen, ostensibly working to solve the problems of world hunger, actually setting the scene for sexual intrigue and betrayal and braising vegetables. Sooner or later, these people are going to have to stop cooking and talking and do something. If this were someone else’s draft, I might say, “These characters are in a situation, but they’re not yet in a predicament.” When I was a brand-new writer, I wrote gleefully; now I see all the problems as I work. Nonetheless, my early drafts are intractable. I have to follow them through anyway. Maybe in the third or eighth draft, something will happen. Meanwhile, no clock is ticking. My characters are making ratatouille...[Keep Reading]…

Sarah is the author of The True Sources of the Nile: A Novel (2002, Doubleday) and coauthor of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers (2004, Longman) with Ron Nyren.


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