Writers Who Read
#5

5 December 2018

Agenda



  • Why We're Here

  • Literary Forensics
  •     - What do I bring?
  •     - What do I feel?
  •     - What do I notice?
  •     - What do I want to learn?

  • Next Month's Reading & Study


Why We're Here

We Writers want to improve our craft

by Reading like a Writer

through Literary Forensics training

we learn from each other

Roundtable Rules

Always refer back to the book

We practice active listening & serendipity

Every feeling and observation is valid...
but not every conclusion

Always refer back to the book

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Introductions

What do I bring
to this book?

Meet today's author: Lisa Halliday


  • Graduated from Harvard in 1998
  • She worked at Wylie Agency as an Assistant Literary Agent
  • Wylie represented Philip Roth

  • Short story published in The Paris Review in 2005
  • Left Wylie in 2006 to focus on fiction
  • Won a 2017 Whiting Award for Fiction

  • Currently a freelance editor and translator in Milan


Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

What do I feel?

What in the book elicited that feeling?

Every feeling and observation is valid...
but every conclusion should be questioned

We practice serendipity
- nothing is too crazy

Always refer back to the book

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

What do I notice?


  •    • Language and Grammar

  •    • Context

  •    • Point of view

  •    • Character & character development

  •    • Horizontal structure

  •    • Pacing

  •    • Layering of themes

  •    • Overall effect

Two Alices

Some themes

  • Epigraphs
  • I - Folly: "We all live slapstick lives, under an inexplicable sentence of death . . ." - Martin Gardiner, The Annotated Alice
  • II - Madness: "Our ideas about the war were the war" - Will Mackin, Kattekoppen, The New Yorker, March 11, 2013


  • Asymmetries
    • Personal Relationships
    • Political
    • Literary / Structural
    • Perceptual

  • Blurred boundaries between Fiction and Reality
    • Perception - The Looking Glass
    • Artistic Ability
    • Swim Lanes


  • How a Roman à Clef could go horribly wrong
    • Humorless, Pretentious
    • Stilted, unnatural dialog
    • Unsubtile
    • Un-lyrical, un-musical

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Asymmetry - Stats

  • Marketing: Literary, Coming of Age, Psychological
  • Genre: Realistic Present-Day, Rounded-Binary Form
  • Word count: 81,283
  • Print Pages: 305

  • Tense: Past
  • POV: I-Alice; II-Amar; III-Transcript

  • Publish date: February 6, 2018
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Asymmetry
  • Subject of 8-way auction for both Asymmetry and her 2nd novel
  • Philip Roth called Asymmetry "a considerable achievement"


  • Novel #2
    • Set partly in Italy, it explores how conspiracy theories take hold
    • Theme: blurred boundaries between fiction and reality

Rounded-Binary Form...(A-B-A)

Rounded Binary Form (A-B-A)

Word Cloud

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Writers Who Read: Coming Up

January 2: Exit West – Mohsin Hamid (UK-Pakistan, 2017)



Thanks to: Boulder Writers Alliance

Contact Gary: hello@garyalanmcbride.com
Literary Forensics Resources

Happy
Sleuthing!