Beloved slipstream writer Kelly Link has been publicly wrestling with a novel on Twitter for a while now (sample tweet: “gonna travel back in time and stop the baby who grew up to invent novels”). Link definitely knows what she’s doing when it comes to short stories—she’s gotten a MacArthur fellowship and one of her collections was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—but a novel is a whole other kind of animal. Or maybe a whole other kind of furniture?
Yesterday Link posted a metaphor about the Novel Problem that evoked the bit in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency where the couch gets inextricably wedged in a stairwell in a way that’s not possible according to physics:
As a coda, she encouraged followers to describe their own writing projects in terms of sofas. The result is a charming tour through the discount furniture showroom of writerly despair and hope.
“I am truly excited about these descriptions and would sit on every one while I continue to work on my novel,” Link told Electric Lit. We couldn’t agree more, although it might be challenging getting up into that tree.
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