First interview with Amanda Lohrey from The Writer’s Room

Writer Amanda Lohrey

If you haven’t already subscribed to this new publication, and you are a keen student of learning as much as possible about ‘the craft’ (and also if you are a nosy sticky-beak like me and love to read about writers and their writing processes) then get thee here and subscribe. If you do, then a wonderful PDF will drop into your email inbox and you can read the terrific piece Charlotte Wood has put together for issue 1. Apart from the great interview, this piece has made me aware of this writer in a way I wasn’t before and I intend to look up some of her work. This can only be a good thing for everyone.

It’s a great and insightful and inspiring and useful read and whenever I read something useful, I am compelled to take notes. The questions are all about the writing, and drill down to get the good stuff. These are some touch-points covered in this first interview:

– how Lowrey works, what is her ‘routine’
– how young or inexperienced writers need to learn how to ‘hold their nerve’ (I love this)
– how women often have to ‘shut off’ and be ruthless in a way that traditionally they’ve not been permitted to (and by implication, in a way that men have tended to find easier or more palatable to society?) (I love this too and have been thinking about this a lot recently, even yesterday as a matter of fact when my daughter rang with the rain storm hitting, asking me to pick her up in Chapel Street. At first I said no, I was busy and we hung up. Then I felt like a bad mother. Then I thought stuff it. Then I looked out the window and saw the extent of the maelstrom and called her back.)
– structures and forms
– getting the words on the page
– the idea of pleasure and enjoyment in writing, the motivations
– how a writer has to learn that often it’s not until the thing is almost done that it gets pulled together, and it can be quite a bit of crap before that point (I guess this is connected to learning to hold your nerve)
– the idea of tone and rhythm as something that can attract a reader without them really even knowing it, and that a ‘tin-eared editor’ can throw it all out by suggesting the removal of a word you ‘don’t need’
– Lohrey’s thoughts about historical novels
– how use of  the omniscient POV can be ‘the worst kind of hubris’ [gulp]
– on writing characters of the opposite gender and how it can be liberating
– thoughts about ‘naturalism’ and ‘realism’

In this list were quite a few things that particularly interested me, but everything was of general interest too. I can’t wait for the next one, and to see who it will be.

Charlotte Wood’s The Writers’ Room – subscribe here

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