Tag Archives: technical problems

The Natural Shape of a Story

Truman Capote was asked in an interview by Patti Hill, “How does one arrive at short-story technique?”

His answer applies to novels as well: “Since each story presents its own technical problems, obviously one can’t generalize about them on a two-times-two-equals-four basis. Finding the right form for your story is simply to realize the most natural way of telling the story. The test of whether or not a writer has divined the natural shape of his story is just this: after reading it, can you imagine it differently, or does it silence your imagination and seem to you absolute and final? As an orange is final. As an orange is something nature has made just right.”

My source for this quote and the full interview can be found at:

http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4867/the-art-of-fiction-no-17-truman-capote