Friday, 26 October 2012

Junot Díaz on writing

I came across this interview with writer Junot Díaz a while ago and am only getting round to reading it. I love what he has to say:

While a short story cannot build the same kind of relationship with a reader that the novel can, the short story can far more convincingly remind the reader of life’s cruel brevity and of how irrevocable some of the shit we decide and that happens to us can be.

And this:

Each narrative mode has its benefits and its dangers. Third person, for example, runs the risk always of being dreadfully etiolated and sounding like it’s been dipped for a decade in an acid bath made up of the pulped voices of 1,001 old dead white males. Third person runs the risk always of being something that doesn’t dance. And first person clearly is always in danger of becoming a narcissistic pinhole, an all-or-nothing bargain. But again, I don’t think one writer’s preference says much about what is possible in the form.


Crafty Green Poet said...

I like the quote about point of view. I had written the whole of my draft novel in third person, but the main storyline is only starting to come alive now I've reset it in first person. Not that it's even now anywhere near being any good apart from the first couple of chapters.

nmj said...

Hey Juliet, That is great that changing p.o.v has had an invigorating effect! You must be pleased (though the thought of a whole draft pov being changed fills me with horror, purely from an energy point of view). I also think the more we think about this stuff technically the harder it becomes, sometimes just best not to think and just be intuitive...