Olive Kitteridge Reflection

1298 Words6 Pages
The Disconnect of Dialogue and Interiority in Selected Stories in Olive Kitteridge
Introduction
After reading a short story or novel that leaves me with that intangible effect that I think all writers want their stories to possess, I like to read interviews from the author. For me, reading about the genesis of a story keeps it alive longer. I want to know how the writer arrived at her idea, how many drafts she went through, what the complications were regarding plot, what questions she asked herself and how she came to solve, answer them. Most of the time I want to know how her characters came to be and how they evolved into their fullness. Reading these interviews always leads me to reflect and compare my own process of writing. I have several
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It’s brown and leather and fits into my pocket. Perhaps this is the most precious of my notebooks because it’s where I place my beginning ideas. In the back of the notebook I record interesting or funny conversations I overhear or have had, and in the front of the notebook I record ideas for future stories. As I skim through the little notebook now, I see all of my ideas listed one after the other have one thing in common. The idea is short— usually taking up one line— but all involve a person, a character. Sometimes (I don’t know how or why) they have a name right away. Of course these ideas, these characters that I’ve followed through with, do not always turn out how I imagined. Most of the time they don’t. After I feel a story is completed, usually this is months and months and sometimes years later, I’ll look back through my notebooks. Especially the small leather notebook. Just like reading those interviews from writers I admire, it’s fascinating to read what I had originally thought about and recorded and reflect on what the character and story…show more content…
This peculiar effect that leads to obsessively thinking about the work, the writer, and the process. As I’m sure it’s obvious, Olive Kitteridge is such a work and I found myself asking why I was so enthralled by the stories. Was it because I grew up in a small, rural town like the protagonists? Was it because I saw or had similar relationships with people that many of the characters in the linked collection have? All of these are valid, true reasons. Yet, in a broad outlook, the biggest reason this work has had this effect on me is the characters. Looking back at my notebooks, who I am as a writer and what drives my stories, I see that this is the same. Characters drive my ideas and what Strout has done is what I strive for. I want my characters to make readers feel compassionate, connected, and feel a tangible realness from them. I want readers to spend days, long drives thinking and wondering about my characters and their complicated relationships with one
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