Sunday, May 27, 2007

Writers on Writing (2)

What is the basis of good writing? "Unity is the anchor of good writing." Zinsser, On Writing Well.

How long should your paragraphs be? "Short paragraphs put air around what you write and make it look inviting, whereas one long chunk of type can discourage the reader from even starting to read." Zinsser, On Writing Well.

Why write? "The act of writing has always been a method of clarification for me, a way of getting down to how I really feel about an issue, a decision, a place, a person. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Why write? "Thinking about events you have experienced, and developing perspective about them, in some ways completes them, and finding the words to express that perspective brings about a sense of closure." Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

How do professional writers write? "One thing I found out early in the game was that there was no way I could simply walk up to that room after breakfast, think of something to write about and then just spit it out in four or five hours.... I had to settle on an idea a week or so in advance and let it stew for a while. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

Why write? Joyce Cary: "To sum up complex problems for action is an act of creative imagination." Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

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