Thursday, February 02, 2006
If I were to affect my best Kanye West-like cockiness, I think my own novel is shaping up to be a pretty handsome little statue. I’m thrilled about the way it’s playing out. I think the fact that my brother and K. and I have been obsessively watching episode after episode of Lost has helped. I’ve been paying close attention to the structure: how J.J. Abrams and company juggle the separate storylines, how they weave back and forth and interconnect, how they build suspense and create compassion for the characters. Then I go and try to reshape my novel in similar ways. Believe me, aside from the seemingly leisurely aspect of watching countless episodes of a television show, it’s an excellent learning tool. In honesty, it beats a lot of writing workshops I’ve had in my life. Once, someone asked me if I got an awful lot out of film school. I told him, “No, I learned more from watching director commentaries on laserdisks and dvds than I ever learned in film school.” I must confess, I get more out of grad school now than I ever did as an undergrad, but I still get a lot out of deconstructing visuals.