• Q&A With WriteByNight Coach Arielle K. Jones

     

    Arielle K. Jones (Fresno, CA) is a Black and queer writer from California’s Central Valley. They earned their BA from San Francisco State University, and their MFA from Fresno State University. She is a Tin House Summer Workshop alumna and Best of the Net Finalist with pieces in The RumpusAlternating Current Press, Blood Tree Lit, and others. Her work tends to portray intimacy and underrepresented identities through taboos and fairytales.

     

     

    Where are you from?

    I come from Fresno, California, in the middle of the Central Valley. I lived in San Francisco for some time and some of my people and favorite places are there and I visit as often as I can.

     

    Where did you study?

    I’ve studied at San Francisco State University (BA in Creative Writing) and Fresno State University (MFA in Creative Writing, emphasis in Publishing and Editing) along with multiple workshops through Winter Tangerine and a wonderful summer at the Tin House Summer Workshop.

    Aside from those institutions, I feel like I accidentally study with every book that I read. I love seeing how others have solved their own way in telling a story.

      

    Who are some of your influences?

    Fairytales, mythology, folktales, and omens. Often, the original authors/tellers are unknown, but these often originally oral stories really have the grit I enjoy in storytelling. I feel like these origins weave their way into so much of our work in ways we may not even originally recognize. It’s haunting and empowering to me!

    Also, I’m a gamer and honestly, those spaces between where you can tell you’re being somewhat railroaded alongside missing dialogue options with NPCs does inspire me. It makes me play the ‘what if’ game. What if this character could join my crew? What if there wasn’t an invisible wall here, what would I see? What if there were more characters like me? Would there be the same missions, goals options? I really enjoy the immersion of games (tabletop and virtual). I feel like they keep my spark of curiosity fueled.

     

    What is the hardest part of writing for you?

    The resting period between drafts. I want to keep working it while it’s warm, but truly, that pause and perhaps switch to another project is so beneficial. That and getting another set of eyes on it just gives a draft the opportunity to become that much richer/layered.

    When I come back to a draft it’s like a whole second wind gets to breeze through and freshen it up and clear out the clutter. 

     

    What is your favorite word and why?

    Dire. There’s automatically devotion and passion and seriousness involved. There’s a motivation that I want to know the cause of as well as a goal being sought. It extends right there between the two. It’s an excited/urgent and committed word.

     

    Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

    There is always another angle to see your work. This is what opens it up to readers. Trust that you will be heard.

     

    Interested in working with Arielle? Request a free consult now

     




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