Writers@Drew is a series of virtual events featuring various award-winning authors in courtesy of The Casement Fund and the English Department. On Feb. 24, guest author Emma Cline, who is best known for her books and short fiction works: “The Girls,” “Daddy” and “White Noise” held a reading and Q&A with interested Drew students.
At the reading, Cline read a segment from her story “White Noise.” The story follows the egoistic and self-eccentric Harvey Weinstein as he gets caught up in his own emotional conflicts. You can read the rest of the book at The New Yorker’s website.
After she read the excerpt from her novel, Cline went on to the Q&A section of the event, answering questions about mindset, book titles and more.
“Fiction is ambiguous,” Cline told the students on Zoom. According to her, students should feel the freedom to write about any weird interests that trigger inspirations. She also encouraged students to work on building writing confidence. Cline said that when she first started writing, she joined a poetry group on MySpace.
“Shut off that part of your brain, it is critical,” Cline said, adding that she has to deactivate the hypercritical part of her brain when she writes drafts, which in her words are “very embarrassing.”
Cline mentioned that she almost titled her fiction “Harvey” instead of “White Noise.”
“For me, titling comes after writing is finished.” Cline confessed about her struggle with titling. She usually titles the book a word or phrase that resonates with her idea of the book when she completes the story.
Another suggestion Cline has for writers: loosening up and having fun with their writing.
“Great writers are fucking funny,” she said, tacking on, “Teenagers are too deadly serious. Everything is life and death.”