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Mavis Gallant’s Modus Operandi

February 1, 2012

The first flash of fiction arrives without words. It comes as a fixed image like a slide, or closer still, a freeze fame, showing characters in a simple situation. Every character comes into being with a name (which I may change), an age, a nationality, a profession, a particular voice and accent, a family background, a personal history, a destination, qualities, secrets, an attitude towards love, ambition, money, religion, and with a private centre of gravity.

Interview of Mavis Gallant by Christine Evain excerpted in Douglas Gibson. Stories about Storytellers: Publishing Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Alistair McLeod, Pierre Trudeau, and others. Toronto: ECW Press, 225  Douglas Gibson’s accompanying website has a number of excerpts and editing tips.
Douglas Gibson Editor and Publisher … turned Author and Performer

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