Alums Lynette D’Amico (fiction, ’13) and Nathan Poole (fiction, ’11) had a conversation about novellas and other topics for Full Stop:

Lynette D’Amico: Was it an intentional decision to write a novella? Did you feel pressure to pare down or scale up? Did you choose the form or did the form choose the work?

Nathan Poole: My intention was to write a novel, but this was before I knew what novels were. Novels are like charitable giving, I’ve found; you’re not supposed to let your right hand know what your left is doing. But I didn’t know that at the time. I was trying to write a novel the way I’d been writing stories, one-handed, without any premeditation. I’ve been told good novels are written through a hemispheric consciousness: part of you is engineering, thinking ahead, ruminating about structure, plot, causality, while another part of you is being a stubborn artist, writing blind, discovering everything as you go. Occasionally you let the two come together to talk things through . . . but I wasn’t doing that. This is what happens when you don’t do that.

 

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