I’m happy to report that an essay of mine has been published in Spry as part of their ABCs of Writing (for Beginners) series. Everyone in series was asked to choose a letter and write about some aspect of writing craft that started with that letter. I chose “P” and wrote about perspective and then was immediately horrified because it meant that someone else couldn’t write about plot.

Then I got over it because I was so ridiculously happy that they asked me to participate and because I decided that I have the heretical belief that perspective is more important than plot. Bad plotting wastes time and ink, but bad perspective has the risk of writing others out of existence (essay spoilers):

Writers and poets have the privilege of writing, censorship aside, anything we choose. We can create characters who live in cities we have never visited. We can give them words to say and let them speak for us, and we are not required to really see them or even try to understand. In the last draft, with enough skill, we might manage to convince even ourselves that our characters speak truly, erase our tracks, and write ourselves out of the story, but we can never entirely leave our own perspective. We can never fully know an Other, just as we are never fully known, but if we stop, look, and look harder we and our readers just might catch a glimpse of something or someone between the bars.

I’m honored to be in such good company. You can find the rest of the series here, and I especially want to point out this essay on “On Ramping” by Colin D. Halloran. The next time I teach a writing workshop I am probably going to use it with my students because damn. So liberating.

 

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