Writing addictive books is something only a few have mastered. On this episode of #WithChude, multiple award-winning writer and playwright, Sefi Atta discusses her work, her creative process, the struggles with the characters in her stories, the events that have shaped her books, and more on #WithChude.
Starting out talking about her book, Swallow, Sefi Atta disclosed that a lot of people did not understand the style of writing she employed in the book. Swallow had some of its pages dedicated to the soliloquy of one of the main characters. Speaking on this, Sefi Atta said she wrote that way because of the body of works that have inspired her over the years.
Talking about the main character in Swallow and the main characters in her books, Sefi Atta said, “I have loquacious characters. They’re garrulous people. They’re always talking.” Sefi’s characters talk a lot, but usually to themselves.
Explaining the reason for this, she said, “Dialogue comes easily to me, but the craft of writing dialogue is hard and you have to keep coming back to it.”
Touching on a very important aspect of her work, Sefi Atta spoke about where she gets the inspiration for her stories. “I haven’t lived in a vacuum. I can talk to anybody and have fun with anybody. I can be with someone outside New Africa Shrine and just talking to them and hearing what stories they have to tell me about themselves. The next minute I can be at Capital Club at a birthday party”, she said.
Speaking further on this, Sefi Atta disclosed that her openness to people and her ability to see people independent of their class or status has helped her have meaningful interactions with anyone she comes across and has, in turn, helped her craft rich stories.