Arts and Crafts and Prose

There is an art and a craft, and aside from any allusion to decorative flowers and Modge Podge, it holds true. They’re separate, the art and the craft. I really vibe to the craft aspect, the sentence structure, the beauty of the language, making it move and then move the reader without them leaving their seat. And I think, when you’re talking about the use of simile and metaphor, it’s a really connective thing. Like Stephen King said in On Writing, it’s telepathy. It’s providing the language of telepathy. You calling images and concepts that aren’t new, but your arrangement makes them now. I think this blends into the art as well.

The art of writing is what you’re trying to say, that’s the art. Sometimes you’re being very direct, pointing to, well, the point, with a big arrow-shaped cut-out, but a lot of times, it’s subtle. It’s scene setting and characterization and world-building. Sometimes the street corner is the plot and character both. The art is maybe why you’re writing, whereas the craft is how you’re writing.

My latest work is about a college town and a union struggle. And I chose to make it a character piece rather than a political piece, because I felt that without the person, without the compulsion to get to know someone beyond their role in something, you basically just have news, which isn’t much fun. It’s about unions, but it delves a lot more into the kind of people that might create a union struggle.

Arts and crafts and union struggles. That’s where it’s at for me.