On 18 October 2005, I went to “Life Stories: Crafts of Writing History.” The reason I went was Anna Lanyon – she wrote two books I liked, Malinche and The New World of Martin Cortes.
*Took ten years to write Malinche!
*Need to know, even love your subject.
*Takes more than one person to get a book out – editors, pubishers, etc.
*Experimenting with styles is important.
*Noel Coward: “Don’t let anything artistic get in your way.”
*Clarity is paramount
*Material itself can/should guide your writing.
*The sound of words, as well as the meaning, is important.
*Work like a physicist: look at the faint traces of a particle’s path, to infer the property/ies of the particle itself.
*Concentrating on the audience leads to different writing, from writing to win an argument or impressing acadaemia.
Donna Merwick (who wrote Death of a Notary)
*Writing as being a performance
*Performing for the mind of one’s time: for your contemporaries
*Readers have the right to:
**poach your text – use what they like, mean what they like
**read stories about the past that inform their future
**red books that correspond to other texts they are consuming
*You must be determined to get your story out
*”Consider the beauty of the simple declarative sentence.”