Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gold in Them Notebooks, Part 3

The is the third in a continuing series of posts presenting writing advice I'm finding as I randomly flip through several years of notebooks, including those from my MFA program.

Today's notes are from a session on writing the personal essay:
Think longer before you begin writing.
Don't "wind up" on the page. Know what you want to write first.
Periods don't cost money.
Unfold the story like dealing a deck of cards; turn over only one at a time.
End a sentence with the most powerful word.
Think of scenes in terms of visual frames; what image next? Next?
It's not that interesting for the reader to hear what the writer doesn't know.
Write as you'd talk, only say less.
Trust the reader to get it.
- Joyce Maynard, author of the new novel Labor Day, and of this past Sunday's
Modern Love column
in the New York Times

You can read the first and second installments here.

1 comment:

Michelle O'Neil said...

Great advice!

Love "it's not that interesting to hear what the writer doesn't know."