Amy Tan on Writing

“This muse appears at the point in my writing when I sense a subtle shift, a nudge to move over, and everything cracks open, the writing is freed, the lanuage is full, resources are plentiful, ideas pour forth, and to be frank, some of these ideas surprise me. It seems as thought the universe is my friend and is helping me write, its hand over mine.”

Here are her five writing tips, which she expounds upon, but I will not. Buy the book. You won’t be sorry.

1. Avoid cliches
2. Avoid generalizations
3. Find your own voice
4. Show compassion
5. Ask the important questions

About judging one year’s best short stories:

“I chose stories that have strong storytelling qualities. By this, I mean they have a narrative thread, pulled taut by interesting complications, and this leads to some thought or emotion or clear-eyed perception.”

 

From Wikipedia: 

Amy Tan (born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships. Her most well-known work is The Joy Luck Club, which has been translated into 35 languages. In 1993, the book was adapted into a commercially successful film.

Tan has written several other bestselling novels, including The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter and Saving Fish from Drowning. She also wrote a collection of non-fiction essays entitled The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings. Her most recent novel Saving Fish from Drowning explores the tribulations experienced by a group of people who disappear while on an expedition in the jungles of Burma. In addition to these, Tan has written two children’s books: The Moon Lady (1992) and Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat (1994), which was turned into an animated series which aired on PBS. She also appeared on PBS in a short spot encouraging children to write. Tan is also in a band with several other well-known writers, the Rock Bottom Remainders.

 

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