I love it when a sentence takes you down unexpected paths past unexpected places:
“…I let myself sink into poverty, in a manner that was deliberate, rigorous and not altogether devoid of elegance.” from Monsieur Pain by Roberto Bolano, translated by Chris Andrews
Why is this sentence effective? When I think of characters falling into poverty, it usually isn’t self-inflicted (at least not with purposeful intent), and it usually isn’t done with rigor or elegance. There’s so much here that’s out of the norm, it makes the character intensely interesting. I want to know more.
Very effective. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program…
What fuels my writing process—aside from caffeine and chocolate? Sometimes I’m tempted to turn to books that are far too familiar or similar to what I’m writing. (And sometimes that is just what my process needs.) But I am often better served by books (or other media) that are “foreign” to me in some way. Whether it’s poetry, essays, science writing, or other nonfiction, books written by authors from another culture or country, new music, or art galleries, I think exploration “shakes things up,” allowing the unexpected to percolate through my subconscious and enrich my work.
For example, this past month or two, I’ve read (or have read portions of) the following: Continue reading