Interview: Night & Day's Writer Chris Wrenn

This week, our writer Chris Wrenn shares some insight into his creative process.

What is your role at Night & Day Studios?

I am a writer, in the broadest sense. I’m one of the newer people around here, and in the short time I’ve worked with Night & Day Studios I’ve written scripts, curriculums, promotional information, and I manage the daily blog posts. I like that nature of the job, that there are a number of different skills in action, different voices to use, and a variety of projects to think about.

What do you like about writing for Night & Day Studios?

I’ve been teaching college writing for a long time now, so I think what I like most is that it’s a radical, yet comfortable change. I’m accustomed to educational writing, but the audience is different here. I never imagined that I would be writing for toddlers or grade-school children, and this job provides a fun challenge that invites me to daydream more and think like a child on occasion. Plus, we have a lot of toys in the office.

Where there any writers that particularly led you into writing?

I don’t think there was any one, though there are certainly a number of people who influence my writing. Two I often reread, just to appreciate their styles, are Toni Morrison and Shirley Jackson, because I love the sentences they write. They both get incredible mileage out of their words, and convert insignificant moments into something grand.

The other major realm of influence would be the more imaginative thinkers, people like Kenneth Patchen, and to an extent, Anne Sexton for her crazy similes. They both make language associations that pull my thoughts out from under me.

Kenneth Patchen's painted poem "Funny Felling"

Kenneth Patchen's painted poem "Funny Felling"

How do you approach a project at Night & Day Studios?

The same way I approach any piece of writing – I take as long as I can to think about it. Some writers talk about letting a story or essay unfold as it goes and allowing a sense of surprise in where the writing might go. I’m not that way at all. I like to have a very clear sense of what I am doing and how I will get there. I spend some time getting the voice straight in my mind and connecting that to objectives. Once I get that down, the writing is easy, a puzzle to put together.