Still Life ~ craft + creativity
Wears Valley, TN photo by Dereck Hammers
Still Life is our regular feature that invites writers, artists, and musicians to share a favorite creative prompt or craft lesson, or to tell us about a book, poem, song, or film that’s been inspirational to them. Still Life offers opinions, experiences, or lessons on creativity, artistic processes, and the role of arts in culture.
In this installment of Still Life, novelist Jacinda Townsend offers “Dreaming Up Conflict,” an exercise in character development and conflict. “We often think of our protagonists as morally infallible,” Townsend writes; but what happens “when you think about the ways in which [your characters] are, in fact, wrong about who’s right”?
Dreaming Up Conflict
by Jacinda Townsend
Jacinda Townsend is the author of Mother Country (Graywolf, 2022) and Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for best fiction written by a woman and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. Jacinda is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is the Helen Zell Visiting Professor of Fiction at the University of Michigan.