Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

A series of gas stations

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George Saunders

I can’t speak for anyone else, but my feeling is that you have to first and foremost keep your eye on the fact that your prose has to kick ass. It has to compel and entertain, and your job is to make that happen, per your taste…My work first got meaningful when it got entertaining…

When I was a kid, I had this Hot Wheels set. A car would approach the “gas station,” which was just two spinning rubber wheels that would push the car forward to the next “gas station.” A story could be thought of as a series of these little gas stations. You want to keep the reader on the track—giving them little pleasure bursts—with the goal of pushing them forward toward the end of the story.

So learning to be a writer could be understood as getting into relation with one’s own little gas stations—finding out what sort of micromoments you are capable of creating that will keep the reader moving through the text.

George Saunders, in an interview with Mike Sacks in Poking a Dead Frog

Written by nevalalee

November 19, 2016 at 7:30 am

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