Friday, June 14, 2013

Writing, What People Say and Kurt Vonnegut

So, I've been editing. By editing, I mean, being sick but before that and after I got a bit better which happened pretty much in the last six hours, I've been editing. Or, thinking about it. I really haven't been editing all that much in the last month but I've changed locals and been ill and, worse than that, really confused about what I want to do.

See, I've read books on writing.

These can be very helpful.

They can also whisper poison words into your ear. Sweet words like; You shouldn't be in every character's head. You shouldn't know everything. You should show what they'r feeling.

I agree with this but I just can't seem to do this completely. Also, I don't know how right it is. I like to know what a scene looks like but I've also read that describing a scene in too much detail, or even at all, is unnecessary. I agree. I hate reading pages of description of a tapestry in a castle, I definitely do, but I like clothes and shoes. I like to describe them. They're characters too, I guess. In some squalid corner of my head, which is round by the way, not square so how can any of use think literally outside the box, I've decided that they are important, mute little characters.

It occurs to me that I don't have those writing books, being a lapsed avid user of the library system. I would like to get them. They were well written. I'd like to remember them and read them again. It occurs to me that some of those books were written more entertainingly than some of the fiction that their authors' created. I would like to write a writing book but I need to figure out what I know about writing first, beyond that it depends on whether you're drunk, silly, sad, dull, or wild and a bunch of other things.

I just found the author of the quote that I was looking for and, while searching for the quote, I found another one. I didn't tend to use semicolons much until I got a college boy friend to edit for me. He's more fond of punctuation than I am. Now I'm not sure how to feel about them.

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.” 
― Kurt VonnegutA Man Without a Country
Goodreads is apparently pretty good for quotes. 

Anyway, I think I will include bits inside the character's heads a little more and if this book is not so good, I will fix it next time. The point that many writers have put forth is that you have to write to create good stuff. You also have to write to create putrid, vibrant green, oozing filth that sticks to your shoes and cooks eyes in their sockets. So, I will continue!
And perhaps lay off the chocolate cake. It makes me weird. 

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