Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Meme for Writers

Lanie Painie recently tagged me for this meme. So here we have it...what once seemed an easy post (c'mon, I love memes during a blog war), has actually posed to be a bit of a challenge.

The Rules:

1. List three things that make writing good and powerful.
2. Link back to the person who tagged you.
3. List three things that you believe are necessary to make writing good and powerful.
4. Tag five others and comment at their blog informing them that they’ve been tagged with this meme.

Three Things:

1. An authentic and singular voice. Great writers have a flare or simplicity that is uniquely their own. Hemingway is Hemingway for a reason, kids. (I know, Lanie, you already said this basically, but it is true as true can be).

2. A good ear. Good writers listen to all of the intricate subtleties within language. Good writers "hear" the natural cadences and rhythms within language. The sounds of the words are often what make them so beautiful. Take, for example, W.S. Merwin's poem, "Separation"


Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

(the th-th-th sound is repeated again and again, then the i-i-i: "is stitched with its," lines 1 and 2 collectively are close to equivalent syllabically--both stressed and unstressed--to line 3.)

Good writers listen, as well to spoken language and create dialogue which reflects the way people actually speak. Think about it--when dialogue is forced in anything we read, we take notice.

3. And last, but not least...Good Writers "Show Up." What I mean by this is that nobody wrote anything by chance. You have to sit down and you have to write day after day after day. Your writing will never be good if you don't try at it again and again and again. The material won't come if you don't meet it when it is ready. It takes determination and dedication and carving out a piece of time for your writing to reveal itself.

That's all. Class dismissed. Sorry about the English lesson (can't help myself sometimes, can I?). I know I veered more into the writer, not just the writing. But, it's all intertwined, afterall, isn't it?

Oh, and I tag:

1. Alice

2. Blackeyed Sue

3. Mrs. Dub (whom I hardly know and she may or may not participate because she is, like, only a BLOGGING ROCK STAR...seriously...37 comments!?! Who gets 37 comments?!? Mrs. Dub, that's who!)

4. Mrs. Bennett


5. My Chaotic Sister (it's okay, well-written screenplays count too, sister...hehehe...don't be offended)


LovingTheChaos said...

If I can write a SCREENPLAY I will way! Grammar is not my forte! You know that and I am too afraid to open myself up for that kind of criticism! :)

Love ya,

Your Number II Fan! :)

Mrs. Dub said...

I'm a rockstar? Woo-hoo! Enough with this writing crap. I'm off to record my album.

But seriously, I loved your tips and will totally do this next week when my brain is back to full functioning status.

Thanks for thinking of me!

Alice said...

Nice friend. I may need to think about this. I usually know the difference between good and bad writing, but I find this meme a tad intimidating.

Ok, a ton intimidating.

I will give it some thought and see what I can come up with.

Jen said...

I agree on all three counts. Well put.