Writing Fiction: “A Degree of Possession”

Whether or how much a book draws from real life isn’t strictly quantifiable . . . Part of this mystery is due to the chaotic consciousness native to the novel-writing process, which requires a degree of possession . . . To dig a book out of the ground can be backbreaking, hand-tearing work; you need to forget what you are doing, to fall into a trance, and when the spell breaks, you can’t be entirely sure what you’ve unearthed, where it came from or who will recognize it as belonging to them, too. And however much of what results is pure invention (or so you think), your subjectivity is all you have. You made it up. It’s made of you.

(Jessica Winter, Our Autofiction Fixation)

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