Writing from Inside of the Memory
August 11, 2011 § 2 Comments
Brevity editor Dinty W. Moore is spending the summer setting up our Paris office, but he took a break yesterday to answer questions at the Matador travel writing site. Here he is discussing what he looks for in a Brevity essay:
The short answer is that I want a piece of writing to make me look at the subject in a different way or think about an experience in a way that I hadn’t previously considered. In a very short piece — we limit our writers to 750 words — that means a sharp focus and immediate movement from the first line of the essay. Whatever the writer is tackling, ultimately the work is about the self. So in travel writing, for instance, it is not enough to say “I went there, and it was exotic.” I want to see a personal connection, feel why a place got under a certain writer’s skin. If the piece is about a childhood incident, I want to be inside of that memory, not outside watching the writer remember it.