Thursday, October 12, 2006

Uncreative Writing

As someone who has taught creative writing, the Bitch must seem a bit of a hypocrite to criticise creative writing courses, as I did in my post 'Authors and Authority', but then I've had first-hand experience of the pitfalls.

Interviewed today in the Guardian by Laura Barton, Booker winner Kiran Desai points out one of the problems: They demand you write a certain way because you have to present your work in half-hour instalments. You are having to polish only a little bit of it. It suits the short story more than the novel. She could never have written her 'monster' novel under these circumstances, she says.

The Bitch has often guiltily thought that it's nigh on impossible to write any novel under these circumstances. In particular, novels which play narrative games with readers' expectations simply don't lend themselves to the piecemeal week-by-week judgement of others' expectations. But for any novel to be unified and organic, you usually need to get to the end before you can know precisely how to hone the beginning, after all.
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