Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Go beyond the idea...

I picked this up from a web site I just discovered:

David Long, a fiction acquisitions editor with Bethany House Publishers, authors this blog, which in its various pages is filled with highly valuable publishing insights. Here's a quote from AnnTatlock, partially in answer to Dave's question: "What is the one thing most lacking, in your opinion, in the CBA book/fiction industry?"

Her answer in part: "You can pick up a novel by, say, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Thomas Wolfe, or Leo Tolstoy and read for the sheer loveliness of it. The prose is poetry. The trick (and it's really no trick, but years and years of honing a craft) is to go beyond simply getting an idea down on paper. The goal is to do this, yes, but more than that, to do it beautifully. To make good use of the tools of ourtrade: simile, metaphor, analogy, imagery, detailed description. To go beyond the obvious, and to make connections that the reader might never have encountered before. To refuse to settle for the first word or phrase that comes to mind, but to rewrite, and think, and struggle, and rewrite again. To say something old in a completely new way. To be original."


Blogger Jim Thompson said...

Everyone is an "original." The near-infinite variety of human temperaments, personalities, perspectives, abilities and gifts guarantees my uniqueness as a writer. We all have the potential to produce Ann Tatlock's ideal prose, but inhibit ourselves with thoughts of conventionality, marketing, and our own inability to generate art. Shed those preconceptions, and we might envision our own artistic potential. Once that vision is in place, the writer will learn and do what it takes to create verbal art.

8:07 AM  

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