Monday, February 14, 2011

A Letter To A Writer To Be....Two

The sound of silence or the noise of silence that is the question! Which word is the better choice as to describe not a sonic event or even the lack of the audible sensation, but the mood of the writer which the reader must interpret for the sentence to carry the day? Which word would best for the mood may be the question, or the question may instead be one of the description of the event from the beginning. Instead of the sound or noise of silence perhaps we are dealing with the sound of stillness, or the emptiness of the morning. No, none of this sounds as good, does it? But what are you really trying to convey here?
            I could have asked what you were trying to say, and that would have worked, but take the sentence and replace one word with the other in the context of the paragraph. What were you trying to describe to the reader? A third word appears to test which word is best. But the scene is critical isn’t it? The mood is important isn’t it? Critical and important both mean the same thing, but now use both words in both sentences, and see how the use of critical in both sentences weakens the word somewhat. I won’t use either for a while, and it lends strength to a word when it isn’t overused.
            We were discussing mood, were we not? What is it that is important here? What is it you are trying to send out throughout the entire body of work? One scene, one moment in time, one part of your life on an early morning that can define what your life was like. Here, in the cold a dead silence of an October morning, with the leaves already fallen, the temperature already dropping, and exchange dropping and fallen so to test these words, here at this point is an analogy for your life. No, not the leaves, that isn’t it; it’s the noise of the silence, the sound of nothing, the emptiness of that morning you can use to reflect in a moment that which reoccurs through the story.
            Where there should have been sound, noise, some movement that created a background there was instead nothing at all. Where there should have been toys there was nothing. Where there should have been clothes there was nothing. Where there should have been a bicycle there was nothing but the wheelbarrow, which even in play is a symbol for work, is it not? Symbolism in a story, even in nonfiction is powerful and moving. The October morning as a symbol for the rest of your childhood is devastatingly effective, if you can pull it off.
            Once again take the words here and interchange them with others and offer some suggestion as to where there might be a better usage for any word. That is a nuts and bolts type thing that you can experiment with. The long term strategy for using different scenes to set up other scenes is something that you will have to develop later in your craft. See the ending. See the middle parts. See each sentence and each paragraph and each chapter as interconnected, intertwined and wired together for power. There is energy, an electrical current surging through all of your life that connects you to each person you ever interact with and the words you write have to be connected likewise. When you throw the switch on one end the other end has to come alive with light, as do all the spaces in between. The October morning screams to be such a point that connects one end to the others, with hot white light.
            It doesn’t matter that you didn’t see it right away and it doesn’t matter you were consciously thinking about the connection. What matters is the theme here, your theme, that reoccurring theme that drives home the message of deprivation and despair. What matters in the connection itself, which you might miss because you aren’t aware you are making it, but it is there, even if you summon it, or if it summons you. See the green lines? I started sentences with the word “what” and the computer wants me to make a question out of what I already know to be an emphatic truth. Use the green and red lines as guides but never as truths. That you find in hidden connections and odd coincidences that make you a better writer when you realize that they are neither odd nor are they coincidences. Good writing is no accident and requires careful consideration but those who do their craft well will be, will be, rewarded with the hidden beauty of their own work. You just have been. Accept the gift from the Muse, and know you are smiled upon by Her.
            You now see that there is more here than just words. Now, at this moment you see you can do thing you have not considered at all, and things that you would not have seen until later, perhaps. But I tell you that you would have seen them because you put them there and they belong to you. Nothing here springs from the thin air unbidden. Nothing here is the result of some cosmic lottery. Nothing here is witchcraft and not one damn line of what you write is pure luck. This is your very soul revealed to you by you. This is everything you have ever been, and all you are, and all you will be. This is your craft, and it belongs to you with all the rights you have earned, no less than Shakespeare, Poe, or the people who wrote the bible. This is your story. This is what you have already written in days and months and years and now you must put them to words, and sentences, and paragraphs and chapters, if you do not put them to verse.
            Writing is never luck. Writing is never accidental. Well, good writing is never either of those two. You must put together the words that make up your life, and know that your choices are good.

Take Care,
Mike

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