This week we talk to Sharon Willdin about ‘Reverie’ which appears in Time, the latest Microlit anthology edited by Cassandra Atherton and published in 2018 by Spineless Wonders. In this interview, Sharon talks about her approach to writing microlit, what she is reading right now and her favourite time of year for putting pen to paper
- Tell us about the inspiration behind your microlit for the Time anthology.
Reverie is a unique story because it came to me in the form of a dream during my research into violent crimes against women in Sydney’s West during the mid-1980s. It synthesised itself; had its own perception of time, narrative structure and images.
- When it comes to microlit, do you generally start wide and then cut down or do you always plan to write a particular piece as microlit?
With microlit usually I like to use dreams that I have had as a basis for the story. I find that dreams are rich in metaphors and visual images which embody authenticity and universality of meaning. I feel that the elements that intrigue us in dreams are also analogous to the mircolit form. In both mediums a lot can be said with just a few poignant images. There needs to be enough space to allow for the recipients to form their own interpretation. If I am using a dream as a basis for a story, I try and record it as accurately as possible and prevent myself from interfering with it too much – apart from adding a basic structure to make it comprehensible.
- How do you balance reading time with writing time? And tell us about the book/s you are reading at the moment.
I never seem to have enough time to read or to write! I am the worst person to ask about balancing the two. I can’t go very long without wanting to write, maximum would be a week, if that. I am usually up till midnight writing something. The books that I enjoy reading are about narrative structure and techniques. I am reading John Yorke’s Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey into Story. I love reading plays and screenplays like Mary Chase’s Harvey, Chris Noonan’s Babe, David Michod’s Animal Kingdom. If I want a pleasant distraction from writing, I sometimes re-read George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Julio Cortazar’s Axolotl to analyse how they deal with point of view and where they place the reader in the text.
- What is your favourite season? Do you prefer to write in winter or summer and why?
I like them all, and for different reasons. I write all year round, but I have noticed that when summer arrives, instead of relaxing and putting up my feet, I feel a greater need to write. Maybe I’m motivated by the threat of the new year and the possibility of facing it with a potential list of broken goals and resolutions.
SHARON WILLDIN is a writer who was raised in regional NSW and currently lives in Sydney. Sharon has studied screenwriting at AFTRS and creative writing at UNSW and the University of Sydney.