So you can read my books

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

HOW DO YOU WRITE? The scratch of the claw.

Working 24 of the 48 weekend hours as a rare blood courier kept me from visiting the blogs of my friends this weekend. I slept most of Monday exhausted.
Sorry.  :-(

Now, onto my post:

How do you write?

Do you write as if your novel were a pressurized airplane cabin?

Are your characters insulated from the truth of their environment?

Is your locale as flat as a cardboard movie backdrop?

Are there smells to your surroundings? Does the soft breeze make an airy stew of their aromas?

Or do you drag your poor reader down sterile, silent streets?

What are the prevailing winds of mindset, manners, and economic demands of your setting?

Does your main character sail against them? Or does he/she flounder in their wake?

Or does he, puppet-like, go through lifeless motions, tugged by your whims and not by motivations relate-able to your readers?

And what about you as a writer?

Do you persist? Or do you stall out when the words become lost in the mist.

Persistence. It is what separates those just playing from those dedicated to the dream.

When the writing is sluggish that is when it is most important to bull through to the end. Writing is like life in that.

Winners don't stop when they meet resistance. Weight resistance builds muscle. Blank-out resistance builds fine prose.

Persistence is the heart. The story is the soul.

For luck, Ernest Hemingway used to carry a rabbit's foot in his right pocket. The fur had long since been worn off. The bones and sinews were polished by wear.

The claws scratched in the lining of his pocket,

and by that sting he knew his luck was still there.

Why was that?

When you feel the scratch of life against you, you know that your luck as a writer is still at your back. How is that?

The sting of life makes you aware:

of your own humanity,

of others' failings and strengths,

of the precious fragility of life.

And that awareness gives your pen the gift of perception, depth, and heart.

What did Ernest put in his journal? :

"Travel and writing broaden your ass, if not your mind, so I try to write standing up."



  1. Maybe I am too comfortable then? Although the prodding is there for my music,

  2. Alex:
    Comfortable at the moment gives us time to reflect and draw upon the times when we weren't for our prose. :-) Great success with your music.

  3. Working on my newest project has been leaving me panting. I've been writing like I've only got a day left to live and write.

    Loved this as always.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  4. Shelly:
    Dean Koontz wrote ODD THOMAS in that same frenzy. You may have a real winner in this new book!

    Neil Gaiman uses pen and paper in a coffee shop. Keep him in your best thoughts, for he has just lost the friend who taught him how to love again.

  5. How true. We need to stand up every now and then.

    Thanks for the Hemingway Moment, I loved it.

  6. Stopping by to say hi after an extended, unplanned break. How do I write?...I'm wondering that myself these days but I'll let you know when I figure it out:)

  7. I hope everything is all right with you and yours after the unplanned, extended break. Like me, I would guess you write when you can squeeze it into your hectic schedule! :-)

  8. I love beginning with pen and paper, scribbling away my thoughts, sights, sounds, scents, and feelings. When I move to the computer, reality usually kicks me in the rear, and I begin narrowing down the prose. Cutting the crap, I like to call it. After cuts and deletes, the magic happens. I word play, rearrange with a click of the mouse, and piece together beauty on the page.