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Ron Rash Quotes
I learnt how to hunt rattlesnakes with an eagle for 'Serena.'
I usually do at least a dozen drafts and progressively make more-conscious decisions. Because I've always believed stories are closer to poems than novels, I spend a lot of time on the story's larger rhythms, such as sentence and paragraph length, placement of flashbacks and dialogue.
Sometimes I know what my characters are moving away from or toward; more often I just wait and see. For instance, though I knew Sinkler in 'The Trusty' was going for water, I did not know that he would meet a fetching young farm wife until I got him into her front yard.
I love learning about different dialects and I own all sorts of regional and time-period slang dictionaries. I often browse through relevant ones while writing a story. I also read a lot of diaries and oral histories.
Faulkner came from my region and taught me how you could write about a place.
I think writing a poem is like being a greyhound. Writing a novel is like being a mule. You go up one long row, then down another, and try not to look up too often to see how far you still have to go.
'Cool-Hand Luke' is one of my favorite movies.
What I've become convinced makes a writer are the days you hate it, the days you'd rather stick those pencils in your eyes. Sometimes I almost punish myself - if I'm not going be able to write, I'm not going be able to do anything else. I just sit there and wait.
I wouldn't mind being a track and field coach.
One of my goals is to allow readers to see my characters and the world they inhabit as vividly as possible.
As I get older I find myself thinking it all begins with Shakespeare.
Furthermore, even if ideas were gettable - say, stacked in a secluded cave like the Dead Sea scrolls - I wouldn't go there. An 'idea,' especially one adhered to from start to finish, can be disastrous for a compelling piece of fiction.
I live in Cullowhee, North Carolina. That's where I teach, at Western Carolina University. That region is where my family has lived for a long time and that region is my landscape.
On the last drafts, I focus on the words themselves, including the rub of vowels and consonants, stressed and unstressed syllables. Yet even at this stage I'm often surprised. A different ending or a new character shows up and I'm back to where I began, letting the story happen, just trying to stay out of the way.
Short fiction is the medium I love the most, because it requires that I bring everything I've learned about poetry - the concision, the ability to say something as vividly as possible - but also the ability to create a narrative that, though lacking a novel's length, satisfies the reader.
I think I had a particular moment when I was 15 years old. I read 'Crime and Punishment,' and that book just, I think, more than any other book made me want to be a writer, 'cause it was the first time that I hadn't just entered a book, but a book had entered me.
I think that's what I love about writing, is the ability to try to, in a sense, take a vacation from yourself and try to enter the sensibility of another time, another character, another place.
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Image of the Moment
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Edgar Allan Poe
T. S. Eliot
e. e. cummings
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