Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm a Thief

...what better way to get back into the blogging saddle than sharing a most excellent blogpost:

The Thief and the Soloist: A Very Brief Taxonomy of Writers

In this fella's (Lev Grossman) taxonomy I have to declare myself a Thief. Whenever I find myself writing-blind, I'll open up a source text: Ron Carlson, say, or Yi Yun Li (The Vagrants, in particular), Michael Byers, Barry Lopez, etc and see how they do it. How they open a chapter, how they weave details and dialogue together, how they create echoes and harmonies with objects and places, how they construct such marvelous sentences, how they end the damn chapter. You'd think I'd end up with a clunky mish-mash of unrelated styles and disparate techniques, but what I find is that these out-sources just serve as a jumping-off place and through revision after revision, the bumps and lumps are smoothed out, the sight lines tightened and it all distills into my own approach.

However. I'll also use Tarot cards, throw the I Ching, sneak in a Chinese Fortune Cookie fortune, roll dice (those Dungeon and Dragons dice are great -so many sides, so many options!), steal plot lines from Dear Abby and otherwise grasp at straws. But whatever helps me survive the draft (as Ron Carlson says), right?

And if I can't write a blogpost myself, I'll piggyback off someone else's brilliant post.

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Noise makers!