On plot

I do story, as opposed to plot. I’ve recently become slightly gendered in my theories about plot. I think that men really like to build a book like a machine, you know? The lever you pull that makes the cogs go round and then the balls drop. Right? I don’t do it that way. I grew The Gathering like mushrooms in a shed, like something in the dark. A story is something that’s looking for insight, I think, whereas you plot a book to have an effect. Story is about pulling the reader in and a plot is a more externalized mechanism of revelation. A plot is more antic, more performative, and less intimate. When you’re telling a story you’re telling it into someone’s ear.

The inimitable Anne Enright on plot as paranoia in this brilliant interview with The Believer.