“Writing fiction: Nora Gold’s Why, When, and What”

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“Writing fiction: Nora Gold’s Why, When, and What”

Posted on September 11 by Nora Gold
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Today Nora Gold, author of Fields of Exile tells us the "Why, When and What" of writing fiction!

Why do you write?

Nora: I write because I have to. It’s essential to me. When circumstances sometimes prevent me, for an extended period of time, from writing, I feel less than fully alive.


When did you start writing?

Nora: I’ve written ever since I can remember. By “writing” I don’t mean the physical act of writing; I mean the act of creating stories. This is something I did long before I could physically write, or even knew how to properly hold a pencil. I can vividly recall being a pre-schooler sitting on the carpet in our living room, and making up stories.


What It’s Like to Write

Nora: Writing fiction (which is totally different for me than writing non-fiction) fills me with joy and a sense of absolute freedom. Anything is possible when I write. That’s the good news. The bad news? That anything is possible when I write. Each time I sit down to write a story, I am re-introduced to my inner life, including its broad range of emotions, its intellect, and its interests and preoccupations. Writing also engages my body. If I write a scene, for instance, where a character is being physically attacked (as happens in Fields of Exile), I myself feel physically attacked as I write this scene. I experience emotionally, cognitively, and physically everything that occurs in my stories.

Readers sometimes assume that whatever happens in a book is something that has already happened to its author “in real life.” In my case at least, this isn’t true. My stories are not autobiographies. But in another sense, what exists in my books has happened to me, because in the moments when I wrote it, I lived it with all my being.

I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be a writer.

Nora Gold

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
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Nora Gold

Nora Gold is a prize-winning author and activist. Her first book, Marrow and Other Stories, won a Canadian Jewish Book Award. Gold is editor-in-chief of the literary journal JewishFiction.net and associate scholar at OISE/University of Toronto’s Centre for Women’s Studies. She lives in Toronto.