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Perfection in short stories and novels

7 May 2007

'As you start writing a short story there's the sense that perfection is just beyond your reach, that you could maybe scratch it with your fingernails on a really good day, and by perfection I mean everything cohering, every word counting, every word relating to every other word.'

Trying to do the same with novels: 'But in time it came to me that actually perfection is not the aim of a novel. The novel by its nature is baggier and looser, and more like life in that sense. I had to realign some part of my aesthetic to move from one form to another.'

Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl in the Bookseller