Posts Tagged: Why Write

The Rumpus Interview with Robert McKee

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Robert McKee is best known to the world in two ways: as the guy who teaches the popular STORY seminar in Los Angeles and around the world to would-be screenwriters, and as the character in the film Adaptation who teaches a popular screenwriting seminar at which the Charlie Kaufman character is berated after standing up […]

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Sigrid Nunez Remembers Susan Sontag

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Here’s some weekend reading: Sigrid Nunez has written a beautiful memoir of Susan Sontag in the latest issue of Tin House. (The text is not available online, but I highly recommend you pick up this issue of Tin House: it’s a really good one.) Nunez was involved with Sontag’s son David, and all three lived together […]

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The Scholars and the Pornographer

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Dame Helen Gardner and George Newton Bowlin Laws—it seems funny, but very good to me to see them in the same sentence. I first saw Helen Gardner, brilliant scholar, denizen of Oxford University, later to be made a Dame on her learning alone, at UCLA.  She was so smart and so dazzling in the way she […]

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Why I Write (About Music)

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I have two of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies index cards taped to my monitor. They are supposed to motivate me while slowly radiating guilt. Obliquely, I guess. One reads: Not building a wall, but making a brick (sands, time, hourglass, you see?) The other: What are you really thinking about just now? Incorporate. I’m thinking […]

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“What does a science fiction writer know about?”

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“I can’t claim to be an authority on anything, but I can honestly say that certain matters absolutely fascinate me, and that I write about them all the time. The two basic topics which fascinate me are “What is reality?” and “What constitutes the authentic human being?” Over the twenty-seven years in which I have […]

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The Perfect Murder Weapon

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“Hey, kid, what’s the perfect murder weapon?” George Covaleski used to ask me this question every time I went to see him. No matter how hard I tried, I could never come up with the right answer. George knew a lot about murder weapons and the many ways people could get killed.

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Wallace Shawn On Writing About Sex

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“Various people who have liked me or cared about me — people who have believed in my promise as a writer — have hinted to me at various times in my life that an excessive preoccupation with the subject of sex has harmed or even ruined my writing. They’ve implied that it was sad, almost […]

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When The Rent’s Due Soon

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“After opening my post on many mornings, I indulge in a few minutes of anguish and muted screams, then devote the next hour or more, if necessary, to tackling the mess. When I have satisfied myself that I have done the best I can by letter and telephone, I stand up from my desk and […]

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A Writer, a Traveler, and an Expat

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I’m a congenital traveler, had been long before I wrote my first book. I took my first plane ride when I was two weeks old (taught me to travel light) and haven’t slowed since. Other than the frequency of travel (you want me to come to China and you’ll pay for it? Granada and Madrid, […]

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VQR Interviews Michelle Orange

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The Rumpus’s own Michelle Orange has a contribution in the Virginia Quarterly Review‘s most recent issue. The piece, entitled “Beirut Rising,” “entertains with its amusing depiction of the Lebanese passion for plastic surgery, but the essay also penetrates deep into to the sadness at the city’s core.” In order to highlight the piece, VQR‘s Anna […]

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Why I Write

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A 20 page essay on “Why I Write” by Rumpus editor Stephen Elliott. Part memoir/part tips and insight. $3 from Scribd, read online or download. (He says he’s going to publish it on The Rumpus at some point, so you could just wait it out.)

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Why Starting a Book is Hard

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“As soon as we feel that the writing we are contemplating matters, our defensive system kicks in, and our fear that we can’t think well enough raises its ugly head. We are wrestled to the ground by the fact that we are trying to matter. To be fanciful about it, when we do writing for […]

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Naked People with Snakes

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The Believer this month has a really good interview with designer / painter / comic arts legend Gary Panter — best known as the guy who did the sets for Pee-wee’s Playhouse, somewhat less well-known for his Jimbo comics, and notorious (among the smallest circle of these three) for practically living on chocolate milk. The […]

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The Storymatic

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I’ve always been a sucker for writing prompts, even though they have a way of sometimes being cheesy, forced, and ultimately silly. But recently I came across this interesting product, a paper-based prompt generator that would seem to strike the right balance of specific detail and vague suggestion.

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