News | 2007 | Am I Pompous Or What?

I just finished applying for the BC Arts Council Scholarship Awards Program, something that's been weighing on me since I was accepted in UBC's MFA program. As a result of that application, I think I learned something about myself. The application called for an artisitc statement summing up my vision or philosophy on writing--something I'd never really put into words before. Well, I have now. While it seems a touch arrogant, I do believe in what I came up with. I'll share it with you now.

Good fiction is a fabrication, an actual thing created by the writer from imagination and discipline. It is neither biography nor history, nor should it ever pretend to be. It should be meaningful, memorable, exciting, and entertaining. When read, good fiction should cease to be mere words on paper and become, in the minds of readers or listeners, new experiences that enrich their lives. This is what I believe good fiction should be, and it is what I would like to be known for having written.
I believe the creation of good fiction is a controlled act, with revision being just as important as both the generation of ideas and the initial drafting of a story, combined. I believe the control used to create a story should be exercised in successive passes through a manuscript. Starting with content and looking at such things as audience, purpose, and structure, a writer should recursively refine each piece from the macro to the micro, eventually finding exactly the right word for each sentence. Nothing in the creation of good fiction should be left to chance--the writer's attention to the appropriate detail at the appropriate time is key to creating a well-crafted piece of art.
A lofty goal, yes, but one I believe should be strived for, because it can be achieved.

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