by Sandra Odell
I rarely have any kind of clear intent when I begin writing. I write to discover the story, which means I have to try out a number of different takes on it. I’ve recently become a professor, and I’ve been told that in academe, creative practice is considered the equivalent of the research that happens in scientific practice. I’m beginning to agree, because drafting a story is experimentation. I have no clear-cut sense of how I create a character. Sometimes I begin by writing a monologue, feeling around for the overall tone they may take in the story, their habits of speech.