What for you makes a good story?
I wish it were something simple and reliable -- I wish, for instance, that I loved every story with the word "arugula" in it. That would make writing and reading much easier. But, alas, it's all more ineffable than that. Generally, it boils down to surprise and individuality. I don't continue reading stories if they don't contain some element of surprise -- if they don't make me wonder where the writer will take the next sentence, the next paragraph, the next page. I'm not a fast reader, so if I feel like I can write the rest of the story in my head, I stop reading. Similarly, I want stories that are not like all the other stories I encounter -- I want stories that create a sense of individual voice and craft. Thousands and thousands of stories are published every year, and most of them have far too much in common with each other.
22 February 2009
Interview at Bibliophile Stalker
Somehow, in the merry-go-round-that-aspires-to-be-a-rollercoaster that is my life, I missed this interview that Charles Tan conducted with me about Best American Fantasy (volume 2 is now, finally, making its way into the world!), writing, reading, theatre, teaching, reviewing, etc. It was a fun interview, and I'm grateful to Charles for giving me the opportunity to ramble on about some favorite topics. Here's a taste: