Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Writer's Process

So re-reading some of my latest stuff and I am realizing that it isn't that great. It appears that I lost the voice that has taken me the last year to cultivate.

At first I was alarmed, I mean, what the fuck do I have left without my writer's voice? Some dumb drunk stories, me hyperbolizing a yuppie's life, and throwing out an "elephant in the room" question? But then I thought about what a professor of mine told me in college, she said, "It's just as you feel like you are in over your head, that you make your greatest leap of growth." And she is right.

Going back over the last week's posts my writing style has changed a bit. I am making my foray into longer form. I've tried to expand upon the story, write about other people besides myself, try to make the scenes more robust and less pontifications--all part of my growth and desire to become a writer. Some parts work, while others don't. And it's part of the process of me pushing myself. Some of my stuff is going to sink, especially as I see this blog, not as a means for talent agents to notice me, because that's like moving to NYC and hoping to get discovered on the streets of Fifth Ave, but as a forum to refine my voice and receive reader feedback. The market researcher in me rearing it's ugly head. When our powers combine...But, this is by no means a solicitation for suggestions of what to write. I am funnier on my own. Unless you are my wife, and then we are like an American female Albert & Costello. Except with booze and old men buying us shit.

So, please bear with me. Feel free to throw in some feedback, i.e. what parts do you wish I expanded upon, which parts was I too wordy-- how my posts not written with four hours of sleep are the best. You know, don't just tell me that I suck, but rather why. Hoyt, feel free to jump in on this one.

I'm excited. I'm right now doing something that I have always dreamed of doing--how many people can say that they have done that? Well, once I move out of my shit hole apartment. I haven't done a lick of writing the treatment yet. But doesn't it sound great, "I'm a writer!"


At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i liked it bette when you were just drunk and funny.

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm kinda glad you solicited feedback, because I've been wanting to offer it, but feeling uncomfortable and arrogant about my desire to do so.

I think you're a good writer, but I think your writing of the last week has been far too self-conscious. It seems as though you're a Writer now, instead of someone just writing, if that makes any sense.

I tend to like writing that's sparse, clean and makes room for the reader (not too much description, not too much analysis - I can fill in blanks on my own). This isn't necessarily your style, I know, but the writing of the last week has been more cluttered, more overly analytical than your writing of the past.

That's not to say that, as a writer, you can't have ideas. You certainly can. You just have to be careful about how you express them and make them less obvious, in a sense.

I'm going to sound momentarily really wanky... Just warning you.

Writing is like clothing. It's presenting a story. It's not telling the story (the reader tells the story, oddly enough). Good writing is like clothing on a mannequin - you notice the overall look. Writing that's clunky is like clothing on a hanger. I don't want to see the hanger poking out - it gets in the way of my enjoyment of the story. I don't like reading writing that reads like Writing, if you know what I mean. Elmore Leonard said, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

I will not be offended if you find this comment boring, arrogant, and/or totally unhelpful. Feel free to delete it if you like.

I think you are a good writer - it's just in the last week, you haven't let yourself be that writer.


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