Elizabeth Geoghegan Recommends...

“Writing my way into a story can feel like walking in an unknown city, tangled with wrong turns that might lead to unexpected vistas, but can just as easily run into insurmountable walls. Even so, I’ve found mapping doesn’t work for me. I need to get a little lost in the process. But it differs if the impasse is one of staring into the void of a new project or just heading the wrong direction during a work in progress. When I don’t know how to begin something new, I’ll go for uncharted walks, usually bringing my camera to make pictures. Looking through a lens, framing things, takes me out of myself and helps me find new ways into narrative, usually through place. However, if I’m in the middle of a story and I stall out, I’ve found that creating a playlist is useful. Music is closely connected to memory for me, so being steeped in it jars forgotten details loose. Whether I’m putting together a soundtrack to echo the overall mood of the scenes or compiling songs my characters would be listening to, music allows me to reimagine the setting I’m trying to evoke. It’s like location scouting through sound.”
—Elizabeth Geoghegan, author of eightball (Santa Fe Writers Project, 2019)

Photo credit: Lovisa Stephenson