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on the art of writing

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  • Mathew Morrell
    Anybody, it seems, can produce good writing. All that is required is a clear idea of what you want to say. The clearer the idea the better, usually, the
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1, 2003
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      Anybody, it seems, can produce good writing. All that is required is
      a clear idea of what you want to say. The clearer the idea the
      better, usually, the writing is ---unless, of course, the writer is,
      like Dostoyevski, capable of automatic writing. This is the type of
      person who writes as if channeling thought from some un-known source
      of knowledge, with little to no pre-writing or revision. Most of us
      must work at producing good writing. We draw an outline, collect our
      thoughts, write, re-write, write, re-write again, ad infinitum. The
      outcome of this most rigorous method is sometimes greater than what
      the literary dilettante creates in an unconscious trance. In
      Dostoyevski's case, his novels lack self consciousness; they're
      lumpy, un-edited, explosions of creative passion; inspired yes, but
      without a certain clarity of thought. Automatic writing was
      convenient for Dostoyevski because he was an undisciplined man almost
      always late on submitting his manuscripts to the publisher, or he
      would write in a flurry to pay off gambling debts. He was a
      miserable character. But his works are sublime. . . and rare.
      Automatic writing is more often responsible for the kind of pulp that
      science-fiction writer Ron L. Hubbard produced for Strange Stories
      Magazine: gibberish barely good enough to be published for $.05
      per/word.

      Aspiring writer should take heed. Do not become overly frustrated by
      lack of output, because sometimes it can be a blessing. Some of the
      greatest writers have not been naturals. They've had to work at it
      until the day they died.

      Mathew Morrell
      http://www.kcpost.net/
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