Michael Byers on narrative necessity
I really like this essay by Michael Byers, which he calls
Nick Carraway's Convenient Dog
Or, The Sure-But-And-So,
a Strategy for Approaching Awkward Necessity.
Here's a sample:
"There are times when you just need certain things to happen in order for a story to work. Sometimes these things are implausible, unlikely, or wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. How do you handle this?
The trick is:
- acknowledge the difficulty;
- provide one reason the difficulty isn't quite what it seems;
- provide another reason; and finally
- introduce the false, required conclusion.
- Friends of American Writers Literary Award for Long for this World
- Academy of Arts & Letters Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction for The Coast of Good Intentions
- Whiting Prize for The Coast of Good Intentions
- New York Times Notable Books, 1998 for The Coast of Good Intentions
- PEN/Hemingway Award (finalist) for The Coast of Good Intentions
- Stanford University Stegner Fellowship in Fiction, 1996-98
Labels: writing craft