Saturday, October 27, 2012

on writing - john steinbeck

1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish.  Lose track
of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps.
Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole 
thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing 
is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for
not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can
only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless,
faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place,
unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one 
single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one
person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write
to that one.

4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think
you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the
whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the
reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than
the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only
then will it have the sound of speech.  (Via BrainPickings)

As with all writing advice, take these bits as food for thought.
They may be true for you, they may not.  

By Julia Yellow

No comments:

Post a Comment