If I wanted to write a story with broad appeal, I would build characters from a shortlist of comfortable archetypes, introduce them with defining backstory snapshots stapled to the text like operating instructions, and launch them into a familiar plot template front-loaded with action. I would trim the extra word weight out of every scene with the dedication of an ultralight backpacker trimming toothbrush handles.
I could make my prose a hungry verb-driven creature ready to compete with the best soundbite journalism. If someone wants to pay me upfront to do that, I will. Seriously. Want me to write a thing? Give me the monies, set me a deadline, I will write a thing.
Left on my own, I would rather explore the muddy ditches and swampy wilds of wording and see what I dig up there. I like to wander, to ponder, to chip ideas out of other ideas, andto ravel up thready patterns of letters and sounds, ideas and emotions into narratives. When I…
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