May 16, 2009

Writing Cinematically

A friend of mine asked me the other day about difference between non-fiction and fiction--how to market something that seemed the blur genres. In the case of what he wanted to accomplish, a sort of magical, Fear and Loathing reportage, I recommended declaring "fiction" up front and registered for unrestricted poetic license.

It reminded me of a key quote that's relevant for biography as much as for fiction. John Gardner said fiction should be a "vivid, continuous dream."

Vivid. Continuous. Dream.

All three descriptors contribute. It goes back to an earlier strategy I never seem to tire of. To craft good biography, in my opinion, is to write cinematically.

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