words fail me-patricia t. o’conner

“Whenever there’s something wrong with your writing, suspect that there’s something wrong with your thinking. Perhaps your writing is unclear because your ideas are unclear. Think, read, learn some more. When your egg is ready to hatch, it’ll hatch. In the meantime, sit on it a bit longer.” (10)

“For some writers, once is not enough. They don’t beat a dead horse; they beat atotallydead horse. They use modifiers that say the same thing as the words they modify. For them, every fact is atruefact. They don’t expedite; theyspeedilyexpedite. They don’t smell a stench; they smell amalodorousstench. In other words, they’re redundant. Or as they might put it,superfluouslyredundant.” (81)

“Writers play this game when they don’t have the courage to be honest.


5 thoughts on “words fail me-patricia t. o’conner

  1. “Promises are glue, gripping the reader’s attention by holding a long piece of writing together. A good writer can juggle three or four or more promises at once, so there’s always something else the reader wants to know, another reason not to switch off the light and go to bed.
    Some promises, though, are subtle; the reader recognizes them only in retrospect.” (169)

    example “kaleidoscope” in bee season by myla goldberg

    “Whether they’re subtle or not so subtle, promises make a book worth reading again and again because they seem more meaningful with each reading. As you read and as you write, think about promises and keep your eye on the ball-or the umbrella. And anytime you raise the reader’s expectations, remember that you have promises to keep.” (170)

    Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&bID=537886421#ixzz0vfAXvv3B

  2. “Here’s to the verb! It works harder than any other part of the sentence. The verb is the word that gets things done. Without a verb, there’s nothing happening and you don’t really need a sentence at all. So when you go shopping for a verb, don’t be cheap. Splurge.” (56)

    Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&bID=537886421#ixzz0vfAhO9yz

    bigup to saul williams for tweeting this a few months back. and to the electric company. and to reading rainbow.

  3. “All writers, remember, are readers first. You’ll read a lot more than you’ll ever write. Let the reader in you influence the writer in you. Put yourself in the reader’s place, then write what you’d like to read.” (12)

    Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&bID=537886421#ixzz0vfBajWPO

    or they SHOULD be. pshaaaaaw.

    just because it’s obama’s bday, and because this gets me every time (except the speed stick part…that might be going a bit far):

  4. This piece just reminds of how much art is life, people often say art imitates life but to me: it creates life anything less would be uncivilized. But back to the point…as someone who dabbles in scribing (for my mere musings).. things flow when you just let them and don’t beat your brain trying to create a flow just like people (when people are just themselves the best them becomes). I have to point to the Soloist as Metro text uses quite often. all else would be like reading someone’s book-it’s their story.

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