Amor Towles went from being an investment professional in Manhattan to a builder of imaginary worlds. He details the challenges of writing historical fiction while creating a universal relevancy that audiences can relate to. Dr. Henry Cloud discusses how he developed his writing process.
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Takeaways from this Episode
1. Visualize the space.
It was intentional for Amor to pick Russia as a setting, wanting to make it like a character. He tells us to imagine the space well, communicate it with your audience without sparing any details. Amor spent time doing intricate research to bring energy to a setting that can light up the imagination.
2. Capture the details to create relevancy.
Amor describes Russia as a pretty alien space, but the setting of the hotel was not. Most people would recognize the luxurious elements they’ve seen in other hotels they’ve seen in other places, so keep your audience engaged by bringing details to life that are familiar.
3. Keep the reader in mind.
If you imagine there’s a reader out there, think about the time and effort it takes for them to pick up your book and read it. It’s like a covenant that’s been entered into you. The writer has a responsibility to anticipate that covenant that has been picked up and to do their best to provide a text that honors the trust of the reader. It means eliminating clichés, self-indulgent passages and intentional obscurities that get you toward a better work of art.
Quotes from Amor
All authors develop characters not based on an individual, but a personification attribute of themselves or that they wish of themselves.
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