Good Advice on Writing. Partly based on the teachings of Jim Dodge. Nouns and Verbs. She walked slowly into the room. Some questions: Do we need a proper noun? Should we know more about the room? What synonyms could we use to replace the phrase “walked slowly.”. Technical Advice.
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Good Advice on Writing Partly based on the teachings of Jim Dodge
Nouns and Verbs She walked slowly into the room. Some questions: Do we need a proper noun? Should we know more about the room? What synonyms could we use to replace the phrase “walked slowly.”
Collaboration & Imagination Good writing is a collaborative act of imagination using language as the medium. Wallace Stevens suggested that you imagine your ideal audience and imagine he is everywhere. In other words, think of a reader of goodwill. Enchant, seduce the reader. Keep them in that spell with good vocabulary and proportionate sentence lengths.
Why People Read • Knowledge • Enchantment • Amusement Look for conflict!
Illuminating Details Concrete, active, sensory details. Senses, the organs we have in common: Eyes-we are visually dominated critters. Think about sounds we hear, odors we smell, tastes we experience, and the feel of things we touch (tactility).
Show rather than Tell Billy was an unbelievably mean kid. Billy would cross the street to kick a puppy in the belly.
Tropes • Figures of speech • Metaphors Audience needs to know the vehicle: Comprehending the Tenor (abstract) depends on knowing the Vehicle (concrete) For example: “Love (tenor) is a raven (vehicle).” Create images through association.
Emphasis What comes at the end of a sentence is emphasized. Strong sentence endings lead to next sentences and help develop well-connected paragraphs. Sentences are malleable.
Think Make thinking an art form. Prewriting=thinking about what you are going to do. Reverie The important thing is to let go. Spend a lot of time on this.
Narrative Strategy • Organize in space and time • Where does the story begin and end • Narrate means to tell or relate • Keep it straight and moving forward
Imagining Outside of Yourself Rilke advocated for active receptivity. Consider the contrary. Always consider what objections the best critic will raise. • Suspend judgment • Set aside preconceptions
The Muses Calliope (chief Muse) epic poetry Clio history Euterpe lyric poetry Thalia comedy and pastoral poetry Melpomeme tragedy Terpsichore choral dancing Erato love poetry Plyhumnia sacred song Urania astronomy May the muses reward your attention.