Tag Archive for Andre Dubus III

Writing advice from Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus was the keynote speaker at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop this summer and he was charming, kind, quick, and smart.


Here are a few highlights from his talk and craft class:

  • Write for the truth of the story.
  • Be willing to fail.
  • What we ask of a book: “Give me me.” We want to see a part of our humanity.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others, or if you do, contend with it in your head not your heart.
  • Mystery is good. The deeper you go into images and characters, the more mysterious they become. We do not pin characters down.
  • Abstract = bad. Concrete = good. General = bad. Concrete = good.
  • From Flannery O’Connor: writers can do whatever they can get away with, which isn’t much.

If you and I can manage to follow this advice, we’ll be golden.