Discussion → Editing

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    Ann Bogle
    Jul 11, 04:22pm

    [This was to Gary Percesepe]:

    "I told you I sat in Padgett Powell's Montreal SLS workshop. I sat there as if I'd outgrown the seat but listened to his craft advice. It was review for me, but I realized I had let go (over time spent writing without understanding audience very well outside workshop, learning it on the internet) mechanical specifics that in Powell add up to his ability to get away with all forms of innovation in narrative.

    "I was surprised but enlightened by his stickler thinking about commas and modifiers. That's what I mean by 'ideas,' that the fine-tuning of the line, the strict adherence to Strunk & White, can form a foundation to advance narrative in any direction.

    "Another thing, unrelated to any particular short story, I've noticed -- what I have been noticing is -- that writers' work in the 80s was a lot more careful, painstaking, than much of writing seems to be today, my own, others', too. We seem to have believed that an older generation of very thoughtful readers was paying attention to our microscopic moves on the page and either they are no longer there, retired as editors, or the current generation of editors do not edit, do not read painstakingly, or they do, but only those most identified, and that the internet has made it possible for writers to unveil writing before it's been critiqued by other careful readers."

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