Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kelly Link and Gavin Grant

One is not supposed to argue publicly with one's fellow writers.  Or at least not when it's their show, and they are also your publisher.  Nonetheless, last night at Seattle's University Bookstore I got into it, in a friendly way, with Kelly Link, one of SF's brightest young stars, whose husband Gavin Grant runs Small Beer Press.  Small Beer published my recent collection of short stories, FOUNTAIN OF AGE AND OTHER STORIES.


First, both Gavin and Kelly read:
Then, during the Q&A, Kelly asked the audience a question: How many people in the audience read a novel out of order?  Many did.  Kelly said she does, too, sometimes: reading the end, peeking at the middle.  "But..but...." I sputtered, "you can't do that!"


Obviously she can.  Kelly said it lessens the tension over wondering what will happen, and that when she knows the outcome, she can relax and better appreciate the build-up.  I said that as a novelist, I don't WANT the tension lessened -- I work hard to arrange things in a sequence that will increase it!  The audience laughed.  Kelly, who is a very sweet-natured person, explained further in the soothing tone when uses to calm down disturbed dogs.  I was not convinced.


And I'm still not.  


But the reading was good.

5 comments:

TheOFloinn said...

I have never before heard of such a thing! It suggests a whole different reading protocol. What is the craft of plotting if it is not the arrangement of encounters to best effect? Suspending the resolution is what distinguishes the Body from the Beginning and Conclusion.

Gregory said...

I'm with you, Nancy!

John said...

This article is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand, Thanks for sharing the picture it has great detail in it and i really appreciate your true artistic work!


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Mary said...

My friend does the same thing, skipping to the end and reading the last 3-5 pages once the tension gets too high for her comfort level. It makes me crazy to hear her tell me this. But part of me argues "she buys the book, she can read it however she wants." I guess. Still, I wonder, why read the book once you know how it's going to end?

Mary said...

My friend does the same thing, skipping to the end and reading the last 3-5 pages once the tension gets too high for her comfort level. It makes me crazy to hear her tell me this. But part of me argues "she buys the book, she can read it however she wants." I guess. Still, I wonder, why read the book once you know how it's going to end?