When I meet a new writer, musician, artist, or any other creative type, the foremost question that intrigues me is: “how do you keep yourself on track?”
When you find yourself truculently bedighting your scrivenery with inimical prose, serried and thick as chaparral; I, for one, recommend elision instead. Otherwise, your writing may appear solecistic, and you, as a writer, solipsismal.
When someone asks for “description,” do you answer with “leave nothing to the imagination?”
Well, as you may know, this isn’t too classy, and although some folks may enjoy that, most probably don’t.
What King is saying is not to avoid writing darlings, but rather to remove them from the final product. This is important because I believe that breathing life into those “darlings” is one of the best ways a writer can improve his craft.
I’d like to borrow a tired chiché from my music education experience, which is that the “practice makes perfect” mantra is misleading. Practice makes permanent is more often true. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Which raises the question: how does one practice writing?
I’d like to bring your attention to Komatsu’s last line, which I believe to be the best: “What you can eliminate from fiction is the description of things that most readers have seen.”
As a writer, not all of our ideas can metamorphose into a fully-fledged piece of expression, and it’s important not to invest too much energy into the ones that aren’t working.
According to me, there are at least 100,000 known writing strategies. Maybe even more (and that’s why we shouldn’t destroy the rain forest). Working at a college writing center has really opened up my eyes to all sorts of writing processes that professors recommend, and even though most of them have nonfiction, academic papers in mind, I think that we creative folks can glean something from their recommendations. The particular process I have in mind is called the Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge, brought to you by Betty S. Flowers, and…
It’s snowing again in Northern Virginia. There’s not much accumulation, mind you, but a friend of mine pointed out how oddly we Northern Virginians react to snow. As he says, we know that it’s going to snow every year, and yet it still manages to catch us off guard.
BUT lo, there is a critical mass of character pain, after which you, dear author, will begin to look more and more like a sadistic bastard and the novel will become less and less enjoyable. You are drowning your plants in fertilizer.