Many ideas have coalesced to form my new editing website, RowanTreeEditing. Samuel R. Delany once proposed that ‘it is almost impossible to write a novel any better than the best novel you’ve read in the three-to-six months before you began your own. Thus, you must read excellent novels regularly.’ Delany’s Architectures of Possibility is a book about writing, but it is not a catalogue of clichéd injunctions—show, don’t tell; write what you know—but a prompting to explore and expand literature’s limits. Therefore, between exercises and interviews, he only demands that we read. I hope to accomplish something similar. I will encourage my clients to be bolder, know the histories of their genres, read and then write with greater ambition.

An editor should not be a latter-day Procrustes, torturing manuscripts to fit pregiven formulas. We should assume a role more like Demeter’s, cultivation. Cultivation requires ritual, methods, but also an appreciation for the cultivated, that it becomes more itself. This blog (and sometimes vlog) will regularly showcase diverse content. I will analyse stories from many mediums, upload interviews, comment on popular writing exercises, meditate on grammar and engage with other blogs and commenters. Whether you are a writer or a reader I hope to have something to offer.

The Courage of Utopia

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Tuesday, 07 July 2020

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