Commitment and the Novel (Weekend) – Carole DeSanti
“Mastery requires the ability to sustain commitment. There is also a time for quitting, and a sense of timing that we need in order to get out of difficult situations. All of these decisions are ‘part of the process.’ …The magic of the creative process will never be experienced unless we persist and trust that there is a force working in every situation that we cannot know until we undergo the experience.” --Shaun McNiff, from Trust the Process, An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go
In this workshop we will look at the project of novel-writing from the moments of initiation and inspiration, through the often-difficult middle passage and the mysterious question of whether, and when to quit. And if we are to go on, how and in what way might we go deeper? We will discuss how to sustain commitment in the face of cultural and market conditions; within the context of our lives, and what fiction is really for.
Carole DeSanti is Vice President, Editor at Large at the Penguin Group, where she is known for championing independent, original voices in fiction, including Dorothy Allison, Melissa Bank, Deborah Harkness, Terry McMillan, Ruth Ozeki, Marisha Pessl and Dirk Wittenborn. She has been profiled in Poets & Writers’Magazine, published in the Women’s Review of Books, and awarded fellowships at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center and Hedgebrook. For over a decade she has been clandestinely writing The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R., a novel forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in March, 2012.