Wednesday, September 13, 2006


You know all those things you read about how authors come up with stories, where they get their ideas, etc. This is probably my favorite metaphor surrounding that process:

It's more like--it's kinda like (this is gonna be a bit stupid) but let's say you're walking along the road and suddenly you sprout a third arm and the third arm is fused to a shovel....It just happened. You didn't plan it; it just happened. Well, it could be argued that the next thing you should do is find a hole to dig. Right? So you start digging a hole and then somebody brings a body along and puts it in. That's what a story must feel like to me. It's not that you say, "I want to write a story about a gravedigger." But you're walking along and "I don't know what I'm doing here in this story," and --boop! a shovel. "Oh, interesting. Ok, what does one do with a shovel? Digs a hole. Why? I don't know yet. Dig the hole! Oh, look a body."

-George Saunders

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