Thursday, November 19, 2009

good writing about good writing

Here's something good Karen Babine wrote (and quoted) about good writing:

". . . and as I read “The Greatest Nature Essay Ever” to them, I watched with some amazement how the light behind their still sleepy eyes changed. It doesn’t mean anything to them, as comp students, not nonfiction writers, but the transformative power of the language was exactly what they needed as we started working on their third paper— and it would be worth doing nothing more than bringing in this quote (but the essay is short, so I read the whole thing to them):

. . . but then there would suddenly be a sharp sentence where the dagger enters your heart and the essay spins on a dime like a skater, and you are plunged into waaay deeper water, you didn't see it coming at all, and you actually shiver, your whole body shimmers, and much later, maybe when you are in bed with someone you love and you are trying to evade his or her icy feet, you think, My God, stories do have roaring power, stories are the most crucial and necessary food, how come we never hardly say that out loud?

"Go ahead. Read that again. I’ll wait for you. There comes a time in every writer’s life when somebody else says what we’re thinking better—and this is one of those moments. Hasn’t everybody had this moment? Multiple times? It’s moments like this that reaffirm that I’m a writer and I’m doing what I’m meant to do. Hoo-yah!"

I thought maybe I would need these words about this point of my crazy-writing month.

Brevity: "How About that Best American?"

. . . especially since my word count is lagging further and further behind: 30,669 (I should be at 32,500 - eek!)


Lisa B. said...

I kind of just had that whole body shimmer thing happen with that passage. Thanks. And, behind in your word count or not, you have figs. Figs!

Mrs. Organic said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Emma J said...

Had figs. Now it's pomegranates. But the incredible beauty of fruit, right?

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