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.