In a recent CBC interview, Moore had some very interesting things to say about fiction writing and form. Here's her response to a question about whether she has “an avant-garde streak:”
I want to break the parameters of what the reader expects is coming. So, if we’re talking about any given sentence, I want the sentence to end in a way that the reader is not expecting. I want the paragraph to end and begin and be something the reader is not expecting. But also be inevitable. If there is a golden rule, that’s it. If the reader knows where you’re going, there’s no point in reading that sentence; they’ll just skip it.
It’s not for the sake of being avant-garde that I want it to be unexpected. It’s because I think a real engagement with a book means that the reader has to chase after the story. Their imagination has to be working, and it’s the energy that’s expended by the imagination at work that is the pleasure of reading. If they know what’s happening, then there’s no pleasure.
Another topic addressed in the interview that is a continuing preoccupation of mine is the formal distinction between short stories and novels. Click here for the rest of the interview.