by Patrick Ross
writing about Lawrence Sulin
"-We all want to write understated prose–to introduce drama in our narrative without being melodramatic–but “a good understated writer is a virtuoso pianist,” knowing exactly which details to provide and when. Most of us are not virtuosos, so we end up leaving out material the reader needs to fully understand the dramatic moment.
"-Aristotle in Poetics said the key to drama is that it conveys pity and terror. When a writer is brave enough to invoke both empathy and fear in a writer, regardless of genre, they are doing the reader a favor. When the reader makes it through to the other side they experience a catharsis, which is pleasurable to the human psyche.
“-We keep hoping when we write about others that they’ll like what we’ve written about them,” Larry said. “I find that hilarious.” “You’re going to have to have the right to your artistic vision,” he said. Nothing sucks drama out of prose like trying to protect the people you write about. He wasn’t saying we should rip people apart or exact revenge on those in our lives. He was saying we should write about everyone–including ourselves–as you understand them, with what Aristotle called “exactitude.” When you do this, there is no issue with melodrama.
"-You don’t have to tie up the drama at the end of the work in a neat little bow. “Resolution is facing the truth of what you’ve created,” he said: “It can be satisfying and messy.” The key is that the narrative lines you’ve woven come together at the end. That doesn’t mean all of the answers are there as well."