Feb 16, 2011

Wednesday on Writing

The process behind writing changes for each writer.  There are tons of books out there that give you different approaches (variations on too few themes) based on different writers of varying levels of success.  I prefer to read those books by authors whose fiction I like.

A B Guthrie (Pulitzer for The Way West) in his book on writing, A Field Guide to Writing Fiction, he explains that the reason you should read yet another book on writing is that he has some experience in the field since he'd been making his living for about 40 years writing.  The book is tiny and yet is one of the best books on how to write you can find.    One of the lessons he teaches by example is a scene where a young man is made to pay for his crime in the old west.  He's shot and killed the town's storekeeper for a dollar and some change.  When asked if he has any last words before they hang him he says, "Please don't tell my mother what I did."  Everyone is human, no matter how good they are they have a dark secret and no matter how bad they are, they still have some good in them somewhere.

Walter Moseley (Devil in a Blue Dress, Always Outnumbered), in his book. This Year You Write Your Novel, starts off with the best advice, "The first thing you have to know about writing is that it is something you must do everyday."

Stephen King in his audio introduction to On Writing, says that what a writer needs most is ass glue.  Stay in that chair and write.

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