AWP 2012: “Craft” = Work

Posted on 02 March 2012

Margaret Atwood’s keynote was fabulous last night, as expected, and afterward I was one of the lucky few hundreds to attend the book signing. A few key, if paraphrased, comments from her keynote:

I didn’t study “craft.” I read and wrote and read and wrote and read and wrote.

Plot is the order of events told linearly. Structure is how you tell that plot.

If you experience a voice [writing] block, change the POV or tense. If it’s a structure block, change the point of entry.

People who want to write but turn out not to want to read — they don’t really want to write. They want someone to sit down next to them and hear their sad story and that’s that.

4 responses to AWP 2012: “Craft” = Work

  • margosita says:

    Last year Margaret Atwood spoke in Ithaca and when I told the people in my office I was going to hear her speak they all said, “Who?”

    If I could fashion the image of GOD after a human being it would, undoubtably, be Margaret Atwood. And yet there are many many people out there who don’t even have a clue who she is.

    Hope you’re loving AWP. These are (naturally) excellent tidbits. Thanks for sharing!

    • Teri says:

      Oh Margosita, I understand! Doesn’t it make you crazy, like a lunatic crazy??

      My top 3 “I don’t know who that is,” are: Jonathan Franzen, Truman Capote, and John Steinbeck.

      See. I feel sick just typing that sentence.

  • I hope you slipped her a copy of your book!

  • If it weren’t for plot and structure (plus tension, characters, and overall narrative), it really would be no work at all. *sigh*

  • Recent Posts

    Tag Cloud

    5 random things acceptance American Literary Review AWP AWP 2012 book reviews books Bread Loaf 2012 cat lady cats Cirrus Cleveland Cleveland writers contests failure Fiction Writers Review first drafts Huda Al-Marashi literary magazines living arrangements Mac's Backs Mid-American Review NaNoWriMo novel revisions Opal Poets & Writers publishing reading rejection revision rust belt chic Saucy Sophie Kerr Prize Stories on Stage The Writing Life this is what the publishing process looks like tricia springstubb Washington College writing advice writing buddies writing frustrations writing goals writing groups writing retreat writing workshops


    Laura Maylene Walter is proudly powered by WordPress and the SubtleFlux theme.

    Copyright © Laura Maylene Walter