Name: Brandon Pytel
Majors: English, Religion; Minors: Creative Writing
Astrological Sign: Aries
1. Other than class assignments, what kinds of things do you write or have you written?
2. What piece of writing are you most proud of?
My unfinished novel that I worked on this past summer. I am roughly 35,000 pages into it and still writing. I’ve fallen in love with the characters and I believe the plot is very strong. I’m excited and anxious to see the final work (if I ever get there).
The stage outside of the student center. Being outside gets the creative juices flowing. There’s too many distractions in a social setting like Post and too little distractions in the daily routine of the library. Nature and being outside allows you to embrace the world, while being trapped within the walls of a building may limit you.
4. Do you have any interesting quirks and/or routines you follow when writing or when you are preparing to write? What are they?
I listen to songs that will get me in the mood to write. If I’m preparing to write a sadder scene, I will listen to slower songs, usually in minor keys. If it is a scene where two characters fall in love, I obviously listen to more uplifting songs of hope and sometimes intensity.
F. Scott Fitzgerald. Hands down. His writing is so lyrical, so poetic. He captures moods and emotions brilliantly and more interestingly, these moods are reflections of his own life and his relationships within it. He is consistent in that there are Daisy Buchanans in every book: strong female characters that often drive the protagonists (whether it’s Jay Gatsby, or Amory Blaine, or Dick Diver) into chaotic states of self-destruction and hopelessness. And on top of all that, he is the driving voice of The Lost Generation. All of his themes, regardless of how tragic they may seem, are indisputably powerful and influential. This Side of Paradise changed my life as a writer and has shaped my passion for both tragedy and relationship and character-driven works.
6. What was the best writing experience of your life?
8. What advice do you have for other Wittenberg writers?
Set aside a time for writing, especially during the school year. The best thing a writer can do is to keep writing. If you miss a day of writing, you’ll miss another, and then another, and soon you haven’t written in weeks. I’m speaking of course from a creative writing perspective, but the same goes for other types of writing. The more you write, the better you’ll become at it.
9. What should students know about you when they come in to visit you in the Writing Center?
I’m a conversationalist. I love talking about writing, but I also love talking about anything or everything. I want sessions to be as informal and easy-going as possible. I want you to feel comfortable with me reading and commenting on your writing, and for that to happen, I want to be more than just a stranger sitting next to you. We’re all students here, and I think we should recognize that; we have a lot in common and I want to explore that in every session.
10. What’s the best part about working in the Writing Center?
The different faces and the different types of writing we’re constantly exposed to. We’re always on our toes here because we don’t know how a session is going to go, we don’t know who or what is going to come through the doors. It’s very exciting.