Secrets as Tools of Connection: Thoughts on Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Dave Egger’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a frenetic, darkly humorous, and tragic memoir, is a story about rebuilding. After both of his parents die when he is twenty-one, Dave is charged with caring for Toph, his precocious 7-year-old brother. He and Toph move to Berkeley where Dave starts a magazine and auditions for … Continue reading Secrets as Tools of Connection: Thoughts on Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Butt in Chair

“Butt in chair,” experts say. Be persistent. But maybe you’re starting to hate your novel. You have dark, escapist thoughts. You’re not feeling particularly pure of heart, nor steadfast of butt. From “Novelists, You’re Doing it Right” on the Ploughshares blog by Rebecca Meacham. Continue reading Butt in Chair

Are Writers Fragile?

MARTIN: You write in the book that the job of an editor is much like that of a therapist. That struck me. Are writers that fragile? MENAKER: Well, I think when they’re writers – when they’re actually acting as writers – they tend to be pretty transferential to their editors. You put yourself out on … Continue reading Are Writers Fragile?

6,000 Extra Pieces

“Working out the structure is the hardest part, because there are a thousand ways to tell a story. It’s sort of like putting together an 8,000-piece puzzle and there are 6,000 extra pieces and you’re not sure what the puzzle is supposed to look like until you’re halfway there.” -Allie Brosh in an interview with … Continue reading 6,000 Extra Pieces