Elissa Schappell, whose Blueprints for Building Better Girls is out in paperback this month, talks process, novels vs. stories, musical inspiration, etiquette, motherhood and more with Justin Taylor, author of The Gospel of Anarchy and Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever. To begin at the beginning, or to try anyway, can you tell me a bit about the process of writing Blueprints for Building Better Girls? Were the stories written in the order in which they appear? Did you yourself employ a "blueprint" of some kind? God no. I don’t care for outlines and blueprints. I don’t like to be told what to do, even if it’s me doing the telling. Which isn’t to say I didn’t have a direction in mind. I began with the idea of writing a series of “instructive” stories inspired by the rules governing proper female behavior in old etiquette and women’s self-help books from Emily Post to What to Expect... Not surprisingly, the stories felt over-determined and too clever by half. (See what I mean?) So I abandoned the idea. However, clearly my subconscious didn’t because that’s pretty much what I ended up doing.