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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Where to find your ideas

“I always tell my students, 'If you walk around with your eyes and ears open, you can't possibly live long enough to write all the novels you'll encounter.” – Jill McCorkle

Short story writer and novelist McCorkle was born on this date in 1958 in North Carolina where she grew up writing and never stopped, finding ideas in every nook and cranny around her.  A writer who also enjoys sharing her skills, she has not only written dozens of pieces but also has been a creative writing professor at some of the top institutions in the nation, teaching at Tufts, the University of North Carolina, Duke, Harvard, Bennngton and now North Carolina State.

McCorkle has the distinction of having her first two novels – The Cheer Leader and July 7th – published on the same day in 1984.  Five of her books have been named New York Times notable books, and McCorkle has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Pasos Prize for Excellence in Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature.

As for advice to new writers, she said character development is a key.  “You want to feel that your reader does identify with the characters so that there's a real entry into the story - that some quality speaks to the individual.”
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