Dan Buri Day 3

This week we have the pleasure to explore Dan Buri’s new
book—Pieces Like Pottery. Today Dan has been kind enough to answer some
questions related to writing and his writing process.

Thank you again, Dan. I’m sure my readers will enjoy learning some tips about
writing and your writing process.

Is there anything that prompted your latest book? Something that inspired you?

Great question. I wouldn’t say that there was any one moment that prompted me to
write this book, but these stories constantly bubble up inside of me. As writers, I think
the challenge is taking the stories from our head and our heart and putting them on the
page. A lot of people have stories, but not everyone can communicate them
effectively and clearly. It’s the great challenge of the writer.

Do you always write in the same genre?

My non-fiction work has been published in print and online at a number of places
over the years. My wife and I actually had a fairly well regarded blog called Buris On
the Couch a few years back. We would pick a narrow subject each week and then
write He Says/She Says takes on that subject. We really enjoyed doing it, but it
became difficult to keep up and we had to shut it down once we had our daughter.
Maybe we’ll revisit it again in the future. We’ve had a lot of inquiries to start it back
up. This is my first venture into the world of fiction. I have written fiction since I was
young, but this is my first published work of fiction.

What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just 
let it unfold?

A little bit of both. I keep a journal of notes and ideas that strike me throughout the
day. We all have what an old teacher of mine liked to call pristine moments of
coherence—those moments when an idea strikes us so profoundly and clearly. I don’t
want to lose those thoughts when I have them, so I try to write them down. But I
typically have an idea or framework for a story before I begin. Once I have that and I
am writing, then I will pull concepts or paragraphs from my journals or other
notebooks. In fact, one of the paragraphs in The Gravesite (from Pieces Like Pottery)

was actually written back when I was a teenager, if you can believe that.

In one of the stories the ending I had planned just didn’t work. It felt dishonest to take
the reader on the journey and then finish with the original ending. I just knew the
reader would feel betrayed, so I had to rework it. Sometimes the original plan just
doesn’t work and the story unfolds on it’s own.

Do you write in a specific place or at a specific time of day?

Once upon a time I thought I needed to write in a particular time and place. I would
typically write at night and need to be in the perfect mood to do so. With a very
demanding job, a wife, and two-year-old daughter, however, I quickly found that I
was not finding much time to write at all. I had to begin writing anytime I could find a
free 30 minutes. I was lucky I did too.

I think young writers always wait for the moment of inspiration to strike. These
moments are amazing, but they are a great luxury. The truth, in my opinion, is that
writing is as much about editing and revising as it is about the writing itself. I have so
many pages of Pieces Like Pottery on the cutting room floor, so to speak. Maybe
editing is a beautiful and inspiring process for some people, but for most writers I
know, it is painstaking. There’s nothing inspirational about it for me. Having very
little time to write each day helped me to begin taking my writing to the next level, to
learn to hone it as a craft, rather than writing simply being an inspirational hobby. I
had to find time to write whenever I could, regardless of whether the circumstances
were perfect.

That being said, I still love to write at night over a glass of wine or a fine whiskey.
Nothing beats that.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in my everyday life. I think good writers have a unique gift of
empathy. They work hard to understand another person’s pains, hopes, dreams and
fears. I really try to understand each person that I encounter in my life. These
experiences tend to inspire me and seep into my writing.

How much of YOU makes it into your characters?

I think every character an author creates is based on a real person or an amalgamation
of real people. I also think an author will drop a little piece of himself or herself into
every character they create. It is just too difficult to not let experiences and biases
seep into one’s writing. There is certainly a piece of me in each character throughout
Pieces Like Pottery. This made it particularly difficult to finish the book at times. I
had to tap into both a sorrowful and a hopeful part of myself for these stories, which
took an emotional toll at times. That being said, I didn’t create any of the characters in
Pieces Like Pottery to represent me or to be a caricature of myself.

Author Bio

Dan Buri's first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of
heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. His
writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the
human search for meaning in life.
Mr. Buri's non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including
publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and
TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-
Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.
Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by
Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World's Top 300 Intellectual Property
Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old



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