Would you rather write an entire book
with your feet or with your tongue?
Definitely my feet—I need to drink plenty
of coffee while writing, so it’d be pretty hard if my mouth were otherwise
Would you rather have one giant
bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?
One giant bestseller, so I could live off
the royalties from that and then write the rest of my books with no commercial
concern at all.
Would you rather be a well-known author
now or be considered a literary genius after you’re dead?
This is a tricky one. If I can interpret
the second option as “being considered a literary genius after I’m dead, but knowing
now that this will happen,” then I’d be tempted by that. If not, then
definitely being well-known during my lifetime.
Would you rather write a book without
using conjunctions or have every sentence of your book begin with one?
Have every sentence begin with one. That
might actually be exciting to try, whereas no conjunctions… I can’t see myself
running with that.
Would you rather have every word of your
favorite novel tattooed on your skin or always playing as an audio in the
background for the rest of your life?
I have a fear of needles, so the tattoo
option would be pretty dark, but I don’t see how I could not choose it. Having
it play in the background would render almost everything else impossible—unless
it were low enough that I could normalize and in time start to ignore it (and
perhaps I’m underestimating my own ability for normalization, as we all do on
occasion… who knows what’s playing in the background right now that we’re not
Would you rather write a book you truly
believe in and have no one read it or write a crappy book that comprises
everything you believe in and have it become an overnight success?
Definitely overnight success, because
that would free me up to write books I truly believed in afterwards (even if
they had to be under a pseudonym, depending on how crappy my overnight success
turned out to be).
Would you rather write a plot twist you
hated or write a character you hated?
A character I hated, if I can interpret
that as meaning “a character who represents a person I’d hate”… this
kind of character could still be quite productive and illuminating to work
Would you rather use your skin as paper
or your blood as ink?
Blood as ink, though only narrowly. Both
would be grim, but at least my blood would more quickly replenish itself, and
yield a higher volume to work with.
Would you rather become a character in
your novel or have your characters escape the page and reenact the novel in
Both seem pretty close to my process
already, so I could go either way. Since I have to choose, I’d have the
characters escape and reenact the novel in real life. That way, I could write a
new novel about this process, which would fit pretty well with the novels I’ve
written so far, which all involve reenactment in different forms. It would be a
nice next step, actually.
Would you rather write without using
punctuation and capitalization or without using words that contained the letter
I’d try it without the letter E, if only
to partake in such a classic experiment. I don’t know much about Chicago or
Miami, but it would be nice to get my head out of New York and Los Angeles for
a while. And I could always include my hometown of Northampton.
Would you rather have schools teach your
book or ban your book?
Ban! That would be a cool distinction,
and it would almost certainly guarantee a higher readership among the students.
This one’s a win-win.
Would you rather be forced to listen to
Ayn Rand bloviate for an hour or be hit on by an angry Dylan Thomas?
Hmm, I’d be kind of fascinated to hear
Rand’s in-person bloviations, and to see how they compared with those in her
Would you rather be reduced to speaking
only in haiku or be capable of only writing in haiku?
This might be the hardest one so far. No
good option, as far as I can tell. I guess speaking in haiku, though it’d be a
bitter pill to swallow, as I’ve always enjoyed long, drawn-out conversations. I
suppose I could speak in many haikus in succession.
Would you rather be stuck on an island
with only the 50 Shades series or a series in a language you couldn’t read?
Ha, also tricky! If I could slowly teach
myself the language of the other series, that might be intriguing, but if I had
no prior knowledge and no reference materials, that’d be pretty tough. So, 50
Shades it is. And in fairness, I’ve never read it, so maybe I’d be
Would you rather critics rip your book
apart publicly or never talk about it at all?
I’d like to say rip it apart publicly,
though I can’t tell how I’d feel if that actually happened. Still, anything’s
better than total indifference.
Would you rather have everything you
think automatically appear on your Twitter feed or have a voice in your head
narrate your every move?
This is a great one! I’d go for the
narrator—and maybe then have that voice narrate my Twitter feed as well, so I
could ignore it.
Would you rather give up your computer or
pens and paper?
Pens and paper. I do write notes and
edits longhand, but the computer is the center of my process these days.
Would you rather write an entire novel
standing on your tippy-toes or laying down flat on your back?
Lying down. I think it was Truman Capote
who called himself a “fully horizontal novelist,” and said that he needed to be
“lying and sipping, sipping and lying,” in order to compose. If it worked for
him, I’m game to try it.
Would you rather read naked in front of a
packed room or have no one show up to your reading?
Naked. You only
live once, right?
David Leo Rice is a writer from
Northampton, MA, currently living in NYC. He’s the author of the novels A Room in Dodge City, A Room in Dodge City Vol. 2, ANGEL HOUSE, and The New House, coming in 2022. His
debut story collection, Drifter, is out this June. He’s online at: www.raviddice.com