I got the idea [for the chapter] from a book by Jacob Slichter, the drummer of a band called Semisonic. Semisonic’s most famous song, “Closing Time,” contains what Slichter calls a “Clearmountain pause,” named after Bob Clearmountain, who produced and mixed the song, and is apparently known for inserting pauses into the music he works on.
And that chapter looks different from the rest of the book:
I’d also become obsessed with the idea of writing a story in PowerPoint — a program I did not own and had never used. I remember exactly when that idea came to me: I was reading an article about the Obama campaign’s turnaround two summers ago, and it mentioned that a particular PowerPoint presentation about the campaign’s shortcomings had led to a successful strategy shift. The fact that the presentation in question wasn’t referred to as a “paper,” or a “document” or a “memo,” but as a “PowerPoint,” really struck me. I thought: PowerPoint has become a literary genre; I’d love to write a story in it.