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Best of the Writer’s Workshop: Karen Russell

Dear Blog Buddies,

We will be away at camp all week, hanging out with 225 paying customers of our closest friends + some of the best writers in the world. And while most of you won’t be able to join us for conversations about syntactic patterns, drinks on the lawn, and late night duels over the Metaphysical I, we still wanted to give you a glimpse of what takes place every summer at our Writer’s Workshop.

All week long we will be posting some of our favorite readings and lectures from past workshops.

Feel free to pour yourself a cold one, stretch out on the lawn, and indulge in a good old fashioned summer (literary) romance.

Yours,

Tin House

From 2010:

ENGINEERING IMPOSSIBLE ARCHITECTURES, WITH KAREN RUSSELL 
The Kansas to Oz ratio: structuring an imaginary world
Fiction writers get to create new worlds out of the pure oil of the imagination. “Alternative” authors, those genre-benders who draw from fables and myths and science fiction, can transport us to wonderlands and alien planets, as well as to the darkest labyrinths of their characters’ interiors. But this generative pleasure comes with some serious responsibilities for the writer. According to Flannery O’Connor: “The person writing a fantasy has to be even more strictly attentive to the concrete detail than someone writing in a naturalistic vein: because the greater the strain on the credulity, the more convincing the properties in it have to be.” We will be taking a look at how authors transform an incredible landscape into a vibrant, grounded, real place on the page.


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  1. […] tune up your ears for her fab Writer’s Workshop podcast over at Tin House, where she shares tips on building up impossible worlds and makes it sound […]

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