Anne Enright Writing Prompt

Writers don’t judge, they describe, Anne Enright says. “I am interested in the way that things that are latent become known.”

For some time I’ve been involved in something called ‘Write Club’, an initiative of some fellow short-story writers who felt it’s good to push yourself to write and edit more in order to bring yourself to a higher level as a writer, while doing this as part of a group trying to do the same thing.

Write Club is about getting yourself to write something decent in a short amount of time, knowing full well that it will need editing later, and basing your story and thoughts on a prompt. A prompt to get you going. It combines two things that are important in writing: actually writing, and actually reading. Reading to write, writing to read. And doing that with a small but dedicated group of fellow-writers is something exactly what you need to push you forward, to turn the wheels in your head and get going.

Anne Enright

This time it’s my turn to provide a prompt. I choose this story by Anne Enright, an Irish author I’ve admired for some years now, whose short story ‘Solstice’ really got to me when I first read it some months ago. I’ve read most of her novels, and am always touched by how raw and real the people in her work are, no matter what strange things may happen. She is very much aware of social reality, of the problems in the world, and without much ado she says something about it, leaving it up to you to connect the dots.

I can especially recommend her novel ‘The Gathering‘ (2007). I will have to read it again to be sure, but her descriptions, her pace, her lingering in the words themselves, they gripped me.

This short story, Solstice, please read it, or listen to it as read by Anne Enright herself on the website of The New Yorker. And let me know what you think.

In an interview with Anne Enright in the New Yorker, the author goes into some of the mechanics around writing short stories.

“I had no idea how to write a short story anymore. I drove home bereft, and sat in the car outside the house for some time, thinking, The first thing that happens when I walk in the door, that is where I begin. I will take the first piece of dialogue I hear and work from there.” ~ Anne Enright (source)

Writers don’t judge, they describe, Anne Enright says. “I am interested in the way that things that are latent become known.”

I hope you’ll enjoy this story, and I suggest for this round of Write Club this approach as described by Enright: walk into the door and the first thing that happens. Take it and work from there.

Happy writing!

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