Claire Vaye Watkins Q & A

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Claire Vaye Watkins is a very talented, very humble, and very personable young writer. On Tuesday, second year fiction writer Lam Pham led the Q&A session with her in the Carriage House.

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Below are a VERY FEW of her answers (paraphrased (I am sorry my shorthand is not better, and that I was not able to get more)) to give you a glimpse into her genius writing mind:

regarding when a piece is finished:
“make the thing as good as you possibly can and then surrender”

regarding her writing process, particularly what she fills out her outlines with:
“shit hits the fan” or “trouble happens”
but more seriously on her writing process:
“interplay between experimenting and having fun and ‘oh yeah, this is where shit was supposed to hit the fan'”
and even more seriously:
“it takes me a long time to figure out what will happen”

how to get out of explaining something in the story:
“it was weird, but this happened”

a rule she follows:
“never try to rescue my characters from the endings they deserve”

and the most important piece of wisdom:
“write to ask questions”
and also that:
“it’s [writing] an important endeavor, but there are more important things, like being decent, loving people…”

Here are some of us at her reading later that day:

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After the reading we got some beers  and were also joined by Brad Watson:

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We were lucky to have her and we hope she comes to visit us again soon!

-Auesta

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