A WRITING BLOG About Playing Around with a Story Line in Different Literary Genres and Different Literary Categories
Writing Leap # 28
Hi Writers, Readers and Movie-Goers,
Writing What You Mean
As all of you writers know this is not easy. No, no, not easy at all. We may think that the reader experiences our words just like we did when we wrote them. Not always the case.
A writing friend, Bob Zaslow, implored me to read Several short sentences about writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg. It has brought some diamond clarity into my writing life and I bow down deeply to both of them.
We have to close our eyes and let our thoughts focus on one sentence at a time, Mr. Klinkenborg said.
Letting new thoughts happen.
Writing the words down and changing them until we get that delicious deep down feeling. Yes, these words evoke just what I mean to say.
So writers. Let yourself ponder your descriptions, your opinions, your character’s voice until you get that feeling that says, “I’ve got it.”
Don’t stop thinking and changing until the moment you can say, ‘This is why I write.’ It can feel like the ringing of a beautiful clear bell.
Try the same story line as the last post: Heaven
“42” is a movie about the beginnings of Jackie Robinson’s career in major league baseball. In 1946 Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signed up Jackie Robinson, a first for a black baseball player. There were never-ending humiliations, lots of hate and boycotts. A Cardinals player spiked him in the calf with his shoe. On purpose. Robinson played incredible baseball throughout.
Rickey stuck with him and never wavered under the negative pressure from the baseball world.
Here’s a slightly paraphrased scene from the movie where the words evoke just what the screenwriter intended. Granted Harrison Ford who plays Rickey breathed life into them. But he had the words.
Robinson asked, “Why you, Mr. Rickey?”
“We had a victory over fascism in Germany and now it’s high time we have a victory over racism,” said Rickey.
“Naw. C’mon. Why you? Tell me.”
“I love this game. I love baseball. Given my whole life to it. Forty odd years ago I was a university coach in Ohio. My catcher was a Negro. Best on the team. Great guy.
I didn’t do enough to help him. Told myself I did. But I didn’t. There was something unfair at the heart of this game I loved and I ignored it.
Then you came along.
You let me love baseball again.
Happy Writing Everyone,
LINKING THE ARTS
A Painting of Jackie Robinson by Stephen Holland.
The writer says what he means with words, technique and heart. The visual artist says what he means with color, light, shadow, technique and heart.
A Good Phrase: Settle in. As in settling in to the truth.
A book to carry around with you to help you find that “I’ve got it” feeling.
I’m thrilled you loved my recommendation, Several Short Sentences About Writing. And I’m not surprised. Mr. Klinkenborg’s ideas can’t help but touch anyone who loves writing.
The moment I finished it, I sent him an email thanking him for what I think is the most inspirational (and inspired) book I’ve ever read on the art of writing. And you’re right, Cynthia–it IS the book to carry around with you. I can open to any page and somehow I’ll get an ‘ah-ha’ about my own writing.