Lectures & Speaking Topics

The Sausage Factory: Making Fiction out of Instincts, Hunches, and Glaring Mistakes
The authority of a finished book can make it seem entirely removed from the creative acts of an actual human being. In this lecture, Egan delves into the messy, accidental nature of her own writing process, and discusses in detail the methods she has used to groom and shape the chaotic results into fiction, with a special focus on A Visit from the Goon Squad.
Character, from an Array of Angles
A discussion of how to create vital and authentic characters in fiction using voice, dialogue, and description. A debunking of the myth of the "consistent character." Egan will read from and discuss works by Jean Rhys, Robert Stone, Lorrie Moore, and Don DeLillo.
Novelist as Journalist/Journalist as Novelist
Egan will discuss how and why she became a writer of cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, and how her journalism and fiction writing have interacted and influenced each other over the years.
Experimentation in Fiction: Notes from a Reluctant Practitioner
Egan, who has used PowerPoint, Twitter, and text messaging in her fiction, discusses when—and why—she has found it necessary to use experimental approaches in her work. She addresses the danger of gimmickry and how to avoid it, and explains why unusual structures can sometimes be the best way to accomplish old-fashioned storytelling.

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