Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Certain Strangeness - Writing Tip from Eve La Salle Caram

I had lunch with my writer friend, Eve La Salle Caram, at Caserio's in Silverlake, and as we always do, had an extended chat about writing, literature, politics, and so on.
One of the things that Eve said about writing hit me with a such a force, I must share it with you.  She talked about a John Gardner quote, which I found in the internet about "a certain strangeness" in great work:

"There can be no great art, according to the poet Coleridge, without a certain strangeness. Most readers will recognize at once that he's right. There come moments in every great novel when we are startled by some development that is at once perfectly fitting and completely unexpected [...], or those moments we experience in many novels when the ordinary and the extraordinary briefly interpenetrate, or things common suddenly show, if only for an instant, a different face. One has to be just a little crazy to write a great novel. One has to be capable of allowing the darkest, most ancient and shrewd parts of one's being to take over the work from time to time. Or be capable of cracking the door now and then to the deep craziness of life itself ..." ~ quote from John Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist.

I have felt this "certain strangeness" when I've read novels that I really liked, and I have also experienced the desire to create a "certain strangeness" in my writing.  I told Eve that sometimes when I'm writing, I will feel bored with my work --- I will actually feel sleepy as I'm typing --- and I have to do something different, think another way about my work to get rid of the boredom. I have to find "a certain strangeness" in order to move forward with my writing.

It is such a wonderful and valuable thought and am grateful that Eve mentioned this to me. If you are a writer, dear Readers, try creating "a certain strangeness" in your work.

Read also
Lunch with Southern Writer, Eve La Salle Caram
2nd Brainard Literary Reading 
UCLA Extension's Publication Party 2011 - Eve Caram and Cecilia Brainard

Tags: writers, authors, novelists, Cecilia Brainard, Eve La Salle Caram, Eve Caram, writing, creative writing, novel writing

This is all for now,


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