Posts tagged ‘style of writing’

Nov 13 2016
Comments Off on Imagination: The Writer’s Call

Imagination: The Writer’s Call

There is a mystery about sitting down to write, an alternate awareness, of a world where imagination and memory, and a mysterious knowing merge, indistinguishable.  A palette of our experience, and perhaps, if Carl Jung is right, the experience of everyone who’s ever lived. How did I know, for instance, when I wrote my story, “The Call of the Dove” (Cricket Magazine, volume 21, number 9, May 1994) how it felt to be a young…

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May 03 2013
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Discovering Point of View

In this excerpt from a letter to a student in her online class Writing for Children, Helena explains issues of voice and discovery that are applicable to adult fiction-writing as well as children’s writing. There is certainly a story to be discovered here, but remember, the point of view has to be the young people, not the adult’s view of the young people.  This is a shift slowly made in understanding and in actually experiencing…

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Mar 22 2013
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Notes Towards Revision

When I discovered Haiku, particularly the Japanese poet, Basho’s, work, I sensed that I’d found an important key with which to approach revision. Words have to work hard in writing, so they have to, each one, mean something.  Like pieces of supportive architecture, words have to construct writing. One word can often do the job of three, and likely do it more potently.  In a Haiku every word is jam-packed with effect. What if I…

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Nov 09 2012
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Writing the Truth That Must Be Revealed

“I can’t think of anything; I certainly can’t think of that!” Has something like that ever silently passed through your mind, perhaps when you were searching for something to write? Of course, it has. We all have thoughts that seem inappropriate and that we’re not going to expose. When images and ideas flash through our minds, we censor them. Either they are just not interesting or impressive enough for our writing, or they are somehow…

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Oct 19 2012
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The Pains of Publication

Recently I’ve had two pieces accepted for publication — I’ve mentioned these in other blogs.  (See September 14th and September 21st.) The word ‘publish’ means ‘to make public.’  Because we live in such a results-oriented culture, a writer can be seduced into thinking that the act of making the work public is the important thing, the critical thing, the thing without which a writer can’t go on, and the frustrations of not being able to…

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Oct 12 2012

A Writer’s Voice

how to write, how to be a writer, writing prompts, writing tips

I’m taking a weaving class.  I’m learning on a small, portable loom, but it has all the necessary pieces of a traditional loom, and it’s great fun to learn an entirely new language, with words like “heddle” and “thrum” and “shed” and “apron” and “shuttle.” I’m learning how to “warp the loom:” to set up the long threads that provide the structural integrity of woven fabric.  It’s extremely complicated, requiring a lot of math and…

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Sep 14 2012
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Words Wording into the World

Sunday, September 16th is my birthday. To celebrate, I’ll share with you here a short piece I wrote which is going to be published in the November/December print issue of Orion magazine, in the “Place Where You Live” feature. I live on Herring Creek, in Tall Timbers, Maryland, where giant pines pierce the clouds with sharp needle fingers.  Where massive oaks shoot bark-covered rockets up into the sky.  Tall Timbers.  A town perpetually growing the…

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Jun 27 2012

Don’t Worry About It!

“Don’t worry about it,” I always tell my students.  Now, if I could only follow my own advice, but as a writing teacher, I’ve seen that we all do it. Sometimes, it stops us from writing. Sometimes, it just holds us up a bit. We worry about all sorts of things. For one thing, we often get the idea that we should be writing in a different style or genre or about other subjects than…

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