Sunday, June 7, 2009

5 Q’s with MFA Greensboro Alum George Singleton at "The Write Network"

5 Q’s with George Singleton

by Susan Johnston @ Urban Muse Writer

5 Q’s with George Singleton

George Singleton is the author of Pep Talks, Warnings, and Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers. In addition to publishing four collections of stories, he has contributed short stories to The Atlantic Monthly, Glimmer Train, North American Review, Fiction International, Epoch,, and many other places. George and I discussed fiction writing as well as his favorite authors.

Urban Muse: You’ve taught writing, so what mistakes do you notice other writers making?

George: In the short story, it’s always spending way too much time on the setting for the first, oh, ten pages, before getting to the conflict. With some younger writers it’s not having a g on their keyboard, so everyone’s spittin’, cussin’, hopin’, and prayin’–even the omniscient third-person narrator. For writers wishing to get published now, it might be good to stay away from trick O.Henry-type endings.

Urban Muse: Do you get into a writing rut? How do you work through it?

George: I get in ruts, but most of the time I don’t realize I’m in one until I’m halfway through a story and/or novel. And then I usually shrug my shoulders, cuss for a couple days, and ram the story on through. Almost always I’ll find a paragraph or minor character that will work better in the next story. I wouldn’t say that I get writer’s block, per se, but there are a lot of days when things are not going smoothly. That’s okay, for me, at least. In order to know what good clean air feels like, one must know nasty, polluted, smoggy fumes.

Read the entire interview here:

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