Fine-tuning the Craft and Being Yourself
时间：11月21日，周三，19:00 – 20:30
Time: November 21, Wednesday, 19:00 – 20:30
Venue: Fangsuo Commune
作家／Writers: Doina Rusti(罗巴尼亚／Romania), Pierre Mejlak (马其他／Malta), 魏微／Wei Wei (中国/ China)，朱文颖/Zhu Wenying（中国 / China）.主持人／Moderator:申霞艳／Shen Xiayan(中国／China)
The fourth event of The 3rd EU-China International Literary Festival was held on December 21 in Fangsuo Commune, Guangzhou. In theme of “Fine-tuning the Craft”, four writers from China, Romania and Malta were invited to discuss whether to fine-tune the crafts and how to write the convincing and logical works.
本场活动我们邀请到了罗马尼亚编剧、小说家Doina Rusti, 马其他小说家、短篇小说家及童书作家Pierre Mejlak, 中国小说家、短篇小说家魏微和朱文颖。主持人是作家、学者申霞艳。
We were joined by screenwriter and novelist Doina Rusti (Romania); novelist, short story writer and children’s author Pierre Mejlak (Malta); and novelists and short story writers Wei Wei (China) and Zhu Wenying (China), in conversation with Shen Xia yan, author and scholar.
After the self-introduction by four writers, Mr. Huang Jingtao invited them to discuss whether fine-tuning the craft was necessary and to talk about some of their unforgettable moments in writing.
Pierre Mejlak said that, in the process of writing, when he finished the craft, he would fine-tune it until he thought that it was perfect. He also mentioned that “fine-tuning the craft” was like creating art. As a short story writer, he would like to write from the very beginning to the end smoothly and quickly without fine-tuning the craft. When he was writing, he would first thought about how to deliver the story to the readers instead of the writing techniques. He also added that, he would also take “fine-tuning the craft” into account. He would delete the unnecessary parts of the story. He compared this period to cutting hair for customers. We need to keep cutting to find the most suitable hairstyle for the customers. We need to review and revise our story to deliver the best story to our readers.
Doina Rusti expressed that when she was writing, she tent to make the figures in her stories vivid and the plots impressive. And Fictions must be passionate. Doina said that a figure was a key element in her novels. She would spend a lot of time searching a large number of materials to portray the figures in her novels. She also told us a story. About 200 years ago, a Frech diplomat lost his way in Bucharest, Romania. She was interested in the following things happening to him. So she read a lot of books, one of which was a magic one. She connected the French man with a chef by menu. This was because she liked candy. Sometimes she would spend a lot of time writing, but if she had no idea about writing, she would stop writing. So the time Doina Rusti spent on writing could be long or short.
Zhu Wenying believed that the host was interesting to have such a topic, because this topic was exactly one of her weak points. She considered herself as an impatient person and this topic could be a mirror to her. She would like to talk about “fine-tuning the craft” from another side. She held the belief that we could also write good works without “fine-tuning the craft”. She added that, “fine-tuning the craft” should be not merely about writing techniques but more about how to become a writer and how one could write in line with his or her own personality. She mentioned one thing ever happening to one of her friends. Her friend was a professor in a college. And his voice was not appealing to his students. So he would like to change his voice. One day, he put a recorder in the classroom and tried to change his voice. His voice did change at that time. But when he listened to the sound from the recorder, he found that the voice turned out to be a worse one. Zhu Wenying wanted to use this example to tell us that one should adhere to his or her own nature or personality rather than merely listen to other’s opinions, which would be a wrong choice.
Wei Wei also mentioned that at the dinner 2 days before, Chinese writers sang songs and foreign writers told some jokes. The atmosphere was really harmonious. Although our languages were various, with the help of the interpreters, we did feel very cheerful and happy. She added that this topic was very suitable for her, because she wrote novels slowly. It might take readers 10 to 20 minutes to finish reading a novel, while she could spend 1 to 2 months finishing writing the novel. She believed that we need to fine-tune the craft to make it better. She also agreed that logic was the priority to novels. No matter how strange the story was, if it was logical and reasonable, it was acceptable. When designing a figure, she would test it through her experience from daily life.
Hostess Shen Xia Yan concluded that, due to authors’ different cultural backgrounds, they talked about logic variously. The essence of their opinions about logic, however, was the same. Their common goal was to write logical and convincing novels.
Finally, four writers sent their best wishes to readers. Meijlak hoped that every person dared to write his or her own unique stories to move readers. Doina hoped that more publishers could publish fictions by Chinese writers. Zhu Wenying encouraged people to be themselves. Wei Wei wished that Meijlak and Doina could have a good time in China and come to Guangzhou next time.
（邓斯婷 报道| 邓斯婷 翻译）
(Covered by Deng Siting, translated by Deng Siting)