Visiting Writer K. L. Going
K. L. Going, author of the Printz honor winning Fat Kid Rules the World, her first published novel, kicked off the residency by talking about what it means to be K. L. Going. But what she was really talking about was what it means to be a writer and what it means to be you.
Kelly (K. L.) is a young, attractive woman, a far cry from the 17-year-old, 300-pound protaonist of her first novel. But that's just the outside. What she and her character share, she said, is self-consciousness. Her character, Troy, is extremely self conscious, and that's what she really wanted to write about.
My impression of her is that she's a writer who makes very deliberate, conscious choices in her work. Fat Kid is written in very short chapters. Essentially each scene is its own chapter. That form was a deliberate choice as were the plot and characters--all were designed to reflect punk rock.
I find it hard to imagine making all those choices so consciously in my own work, at least not in the draft stage. Maybe I haven't written enough yet.
One question she posed is whether as a writer, are you willing to bare all your faults and put them in your work? This makes me cringe, but I see how it will be necessary.