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Entries in #washingtonian (1)

Tuesday
Dec042012

Why I Write (Fiction, and specifically Novels)

Via the ever-wonderful longform.org, I present to you one of the best articles I've read this year: "Remains of the Day," in the Washingtonian. Matt Mendelsohn is a DC area wedding photographer who decides to check up on some of his previous couples after a family whose milestones he's photographed for years begins to deal with the health crisis of their son. 

I can't say much beyond go read it. What Mendelsohn captures in his cross-section of couples, the ins and outs of their lives, the tragedies and joys and absurdities they've encountered, is precisely why I write fiction. It's also why I write novels. The best short story writers, I'm well aware, can capture an entire world in 5,000 words or so (much like Mendelsohn does), but for me, there's just too much potential to practice such disciplined asceticism. There's so much to know, so much to discover, so many layers to peel back as the harmonies, dissonances, and echoes among characters' lives and circumstances gradually become clear. As a reader, I love that process of discovery; as a writer, I love it no less.