Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Writers on Writing (4)

How do professional writers write? Henry Miller: "After all, most writing is done away from the typewriter, away from the desk...occurs in the quiet, silent moments, while you're walking or shaving or playing a game...your mind is working on this problem in the back of your head." Plimpton, ed., The Writer's Chapbook.

Why write? EM Forster: "How do I know what I think until I see what I say?" Plimpton, ed., The Writer's Chapbook.

What is writing style? "Spencer...defined [writing] style as that which requires the least effort of understanding. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy,Herbert Spencer.

How do writers deal with rejection from editors and publishers? F. Scott Fitzgerald: "I had one hundred and twenty-two rejection slips pinned in a frieze about my room. F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing.

What is the purpose of rewriting? Thurber: "Rewriting [is] ... a constant attempt on my part to make the finished version smooth, to make it seem effortless." Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Why write? "A TV interviewer once asked me what my purpose was in writing my books.... I would have to say that the first purpose was to preserve...portions of our lives that seem especially precious to us." Teale, American Seasons.

No comments: