Tuesday, 30 June 2015

On Creative Writing: "This Next Bit's Really Nice" (June ed.)

Once a month, I post a few things on creative writing.  This idea was taken from Channel 4's The Book Group (well worth a watch).  As always, here is my picture meme:

Character reading a book, saying "This next bit's really nice."


Let the madness begin!

C.S. Lewis:
"Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing.  I mean, instead of telling us a thing was 'terrible', describe it so that we’ll be terrified.  Don’t say it was 'delightful'; make us say 'delightful' when we’ve read the description.  You see, all those words - horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite - are only like saying to your readers, 'Please will you do my job for me.'"

Ernest Hemingway:
"When people talk listen completely.  Most people never listen.  Nor do they observe.
You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that.  If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling.
Try that for practice.  When you’re in town stand outside the theatre and see how the people differ in the way they get out of taxis of motor cars.  There are a thousand ways to practice.  And always think of other people."

Fay Weldon:
If we consider, like Camus, Sisyphus at the foot of his mountain, we can see that he is smiling.  He is content in his task of defying the Gods, the journey more important than the goal.  To achieve a beginning, a middle, an end, a meaning to the chaos of creation—that's more than any deity seems to manage: But it's what writers do.  So I tidy the desk, even polish it up a bit, stick some flowers in a vase and start.  As I begin a novel I remind myself as ever of Camus's admonition that the purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.  And even while thinking, well, fat chance!  I find courage, reach for the heights, and if the rock keeps rolling down again so it does.  What the hell, start again. Rewrite. Be of good cheer.  Smile on, Sisyphus!
Junot Díaz
You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden.  In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.

& remember:

       “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.
- Lewis Caroll 


Previous editions:

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1 comment:

  1. Some wonderful quotes and some really great advice! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete

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