Scott Doyle

Location Bethesda, MD
Occupation writer

About Me

I'm a writer of fiction, mainly short stories. I do not have or plan to get an MFA. I study at the UCLA Extension's Writing Program, and have for three years attended the Tin House Summer Workshop. Before moving to Los Angeles to make a stab at writing full-time, I lived in Boston, where with my younger brother I ran a small indie store selling books and CDs. In even more distant lives I have been a pastry chef and a community activist. In addition to literature my interests include jazz, film, and the desert.

Why do you write?

I find fiction, the short story especially, to be a world apart that sometimes reflects the world where we walk and talk and breathe; sometimes offers an alternative to that world; sometimes neither or both, a world that is both foreign and familiar. It's a world whose chief characteristic is mystery. A world I've strayed from but come back to.

I have a keen interest in what the dramatic arts have to teach fiction writers. Playwrights and screenwriters often have a better sense of the muscle of good drama. Actors are practiced in inhabiting characters in a bodily way. It's a paradox because we use language to get at what exists beyond language. Some of the most powerful moments are inarticulate ones. Sometimes the essential gesture comes before the word.

Blah, blah, blah.

Any favorite authors? Books?

I long to be the love-child of Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse" and Denis Johnson's "Jesus' Son." Howard Norman's "The Bird Artist" and Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities" are old favorites. Aimee Bender's "Skinless" was an early ah-ha moment in the art of the short story; Holiday Reinhorn's "Gabe" a more recent one. Through Frank O'Connor's "The Lonely Voice" I discovered Turgenev and Babel. Charles D'Ambrosio is brilliant as a writer and teacher. I re-read Flannery O'Connor's essays in "Mystery & Manners" to keep honest.

Scott Doyle's Wall

Kaytie Lee – Oct 13, 2008

Hi! Been a while since we met at Tin House. I hope your writing is going well!

Alicia Gifford – Sep 10, 2008

And happy birthday!

Alicia Gifford – Sep 10, 2008

Hey Scott, nice to see you here!

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