It’s not news that many of us come to writing from other art forms–painting, music, dance, acting. How might we use what we know from that field in our writing? Is there a way to think about the line in relationship to a singer’s phrasing? Or, how might a song’s harmonic shifts give us structural permission? Language, in all its elusiveness, seems to insist on a figurative lens.
Then there’s the obvious, of course–read more, read better, resist that urge to dismiss the unfamiliar too quickly.
Paul Lisicky is the author of Lawnboy and Famous Builder. He’s taught at Rutgers University – Newark, Cornell, Sarah Lawrence, Antioch-Los Angeles, Bread Loaf, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he serves on the Writing Committee.