Friday, April 16, 2010

1 Shortcuts to Writing Well from Richard Bausch

Here's a wonderful reminder about the limitation of shortcuts and how-to manuals when it comes to learning the craft of writing. My favorite quotes?

This one:

If you really want to learn how to write, do that. Read Shakespeare, and all the others whose work has withstood time and circumstance and changing fashions and the assaults of the ignorant and the bigoted; read those writers and don’t spend a lot of time analyzing them. Digest them, swallow them all, one after another, and try to sound like them for a time. Learn to be as faithful to the art and craft as they all were, and follow their example. That is, wide reading and hard work. One doesn’t write out of some intellectual plan or strategy; one writes from a kind of beautiful necessity born of the reading of thousands of good stories poems plays… One is deeply involved in literature, and thinks more of writing than of being a writer.

And this one:

To my mind, nothing is as important as good writing, because in literature, the walls between people and cultures are broken down, and the things that plague us most—suspicion and fear of the other, and the tendency to see whole groups of people as objects, as monoliths of one cultural stereotype or another—are defeated.

Read the full article:



1 comment:

  1. Great advice. I know the how-to books are just guides and the best thing you can do if you want to write is to write - and read a lot.


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