Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter." Blaise Pascal

Okay - I'll get back to those diva quotes later in the week - in fact, I think I'll make it a once of week blog entry.

In the 4/12/10 The New Yorker was this cartoon:



There was also a great peom by Jessica Greenbaum named Next Door. Here is a snippet
- That silence
is also like the space between the reader and the page,
the little nation between the writer's words and our
particular way of receiving them, or the blank station
we fill in between ourselves and passing strangers,
or between ourselves and people we presume to know,
but most achingly in the ones we try to know.

Then in the latest Poets&Writers there was a great article by Benjamin Percy about revision:

'Faulkner said, "Kill your darlings."'
Percy keeps what he calls a cemetery folder where "I dump and bury anything that is excised from a story." This makes it easier for him to cut.

also

"When revising, the beginning writer spends hours consulting thesaurus, replacing a period with a semicolon, cutting adjectives, adding a few descriptive sentences-whereas the professional writer mercilessly lops off limbs, rips out innards like party streamers, drains away gallons of blood and then calls down lightning to bring the body back to life."

It seems that dude Pascal from the 16th century (see quote above) knew this.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Spent all of yesterday spawning new darlings and most of today annihilating them.

Terri said...

Spent all day yesterday spawning new monstrous darling and all day today annihilating them. O, the power!

Terri said...

An example of my process in action. Now to annihilate that!

Yo said...

Well put. Off to create and destroy.

Jennifer Probst said...

I love this quote about revisions and agree. I used to hang onto every word and cut punctuation and feel bad. Now I happily murder pages of my prose and feel good. Am I finally starting to become a professional!!!