Writers Who Read
#27

3 January 2021

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?

Today's author: Megha Majumdar

  • Born: Kolkata, India, 1987
  • Harvard: BA, Social Anthropology
  • Johns Hopkins: MA, Anthropology
  • Editor: Catapult Books / Magazine

  • A Burning: 1st novel
  • - 4 years to write; 15-45 mins / day
  • - Wrote 3 separate arcs, then combined

  • "I really like when a character is able to hold contradictions."

  • "Who gets to star in their own story?"

“A challenge that I set myself was: I wanted to write a book that would be intellectually serious and say something about living during this time of extremism, but also a book that would be entertaining. I think that it takes real craft and skill to entertain someone.”
     - Megha Majumdar

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

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

A Burning - Stats

  • Marketing: Terrorism Thrillers, Political Fiction, Political Thrillers
  • Genre: Realistic Present-Day Arch-Plot Long-Form
  • Word count: 61,947
  • Print Pages: 304
  • Reading Level: 7th Grade

  • POV: Jivan, Lovely, PT Sir, chorus
  • Tense: Mostly present
  • Person: Jivan, Lovely: 1st; PT Sir: 3rd;
    interludes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

  • Publish date: June 2, 2020
  • Publisher / Sold By: Knopf
  • Audio book narration: Vikas Adam, Priya Ayyar, Deepti Gupta, Soneela Nankani, Neil Shah, Ulka Mohanty

  • Recognition: 2020 NYT Notable Book, Today Show #ReadWithJenna book club pick
    Shortlisted: Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction

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

February 7: Red Pill - Hari Kunzru (England, 2020)
March 7: Interior Chinatown - Charles Yu (USA, 2020)
April 4: Apeirogon - Colum McCann (Ireland, 2020)
May 2: The Lying Life of Adults - Elena Ferrante
(Italy, trans. 2020 by Ann Goldstein)
June 6: The Vanishing Half - Brit Bennett (USA, 2020)




Thanks to: Boulder Writers Alliance

Contact Gary: hello@garyalanmcbride.com
Literary Forensics Resources

Happy
Sleuthing!