12 July 2010

Célestine Vaite

Words from the bilingual author's mouth:

"Why did you decide to write in English, your second language? Do you think in English as you write, or do you think in your native language and translate your thoughts? Does writing in a second language affect the way you developed your characters or tell a story?

"I always act my dialogues (it helps me see my character as if she/he was standing right in front of me) and I talk in French as my character - professional cleaner, teenager, doctor etc - would in flesh and bones. Then I write in English. As for the narrative voice, it comes out directly in English but with the French/Tahitian voice in my head, as if my mother or auntie was telling me the story. Very often I'm translating literally. So it's, mind your onions and not mind your business. Writing in English is a lot of fun! True, it is a lot of work, but it forces me to really think about what I'm writing, and gets me focused on the tempo, the rhythm of story-telling."

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