Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The art of writing slow.Aliatair MacLeod extract from interviewd by Morning Cape Breton

Alistair MacLeod discusses the art of writing slow
Read the full article on  Information Morning Cape Breton (12/9/11)
Alistair MacLeod's literary career is proof that it's quality, not

quantity, that truly matters. His short stories are

 internationally renowned, and his only novel, No Great

Mischief, won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

in 2001, and was shortlisted for all of Canada's major literary

He believes in Raymond Carver's sentiment that "it's the writer's job to bring the news" and that, as a writer, it's his responsibility to get the details exactly right. Not only does he have to bring a sense of time and place to his work, it needs to be historically and culturally accurate.
MacLeod sees himself as an artist and doesn't force his writing or rush his words. He also refuses to set deadlines for himself or aspire to finish a story to appease anyone else. McLeod knows a story is done only "when [he] can't make it any better."
MacLeod does have one trick, however, that guides him to the end. When he is halfway through a piece, whether it is a novel or a short story, he writes the final sentence down. "I think of that as the last thing I'm going to say to the reader," he explained. "I write it down and it serves as a lighthouse on the rest of my journey through the story."

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