AWP: A Play Between Writers

February 14, 2009

posted & written by Caroline Picard

writers-conference

A couple of conversations yesterday I had went like this:

Eager Strategist: Are you a writer?

Scared Seeming Ambivalent: Yes.

Eager Strategist: What do you write?

Scared Seeming Ambivalent: I write mostly fiction, I guess.

Eager Strategist: What genre, though.

Scared Seeming Ambivalent: I don’t know what genre…umm. I write stories about people?

Eager Strategist: Like, are you a mystery writer? A thriller spy writer? Young Adult?

Scared Seeming Ambivalent: (uncomfortable) I really haven’t thought about it.

Eager Strategist: You have to have a genre. It makes you sellable. People know where to put you then.

Scared Seeming Ambivalent: Like I said, I write stories about people. I don’t really think too much about genre. I mean, if you write a mystery novel, you know it’s a mystery novel and I’ve never written a mystery novel. I just like to write, that’s all.

Eager Strategist: Hmmm…I see. Well. Are your stories more character driven? Or plot driven.

Scared Seeming Ambivalent: Probably character. Yes. I’d say¬† character.

Eager Strategist: Oh. (shrugs. seems happy) Probably you’re literary then. Most character driven works are (slows down to annunciate) Literary Fiction.

Scared Seeming Ambivalent: huh. That’s cool.

Eager Strategist: Yeah, cool. Hey, it was nice to meet you.

— the shaking of hands —