ARDOR Literary Magazine

ARDOR Literary Magazine - Issue Three, September 2013

Issue One, Published January 2013

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FICTION ARMSTRONG AN INTERVIEW I've worked a lot of manual labor jobs—janitor, construction worker, roofer—and I still think of those jobs as the ones that most readied me for what it takes to be a writer. You show up and you do it, over and over again, day after day. Writing this story was no different. WITH DAVID ARMSTRONG In each issue the editor selects one prose writer and one poet to feature, offering readers a short interview with these writers. David Armstrong, author of our featured short story, Their Own Resolution, was kind enough to respond to a few questions. ARDOR: What was most challenging about writing Their Own Resolution? Which parts came easiest? DA: I'll start with the second question because that's where I began. The easiest part was the voice. From the very start of the story, I knew who this kid was. I even knew his adult self (from whose vantage point the story is essentially told). That doesn't often happen for me. For instance, I spent a couple years on another story just tweaking the voice until it felt genuine. So a voice like Barnabus's—one I can hear right away; one that doesn't change as I continue to write— gives the story a boost. That's a freeing place to begin. That was also the most challenging part. One problem I have with characters that are strong and fully formed in my mind is that they have a tendency to overwhelm the page. They're always too big for the story. After I finished with the early drafts, I had to carve up scene after scene because— frankly—Barnabus was talking too much. There's a point, no matter how interesting the character is, that loquacity becomes detrimental to what the story should ultimately do for the reader. ARDOR: Tell us about your writing process – both in general and the specific work of writing this story. ARDOR | 72 DA: David Armstrong This is a boring answer, I know, but if we're talking about an "artistic process," I don't think of writing like that. I sit down every day at a foldout table and I type for hours. I've worked a lot of manual labor jobs— janitor, construction worker, roofer—and I still think of those jobs as the ones that most readied me for what it takes to be a writer. You show up and you do it, over and over again, day after day. Writing this story was no different.

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