The second installment of Things Unsaid comes with cleaning up the writing area and finding post-its. Here-in lie jewels of wisdom, some I thought up and some are quotes but without sourcing where the words came from, who knows. Written ideas/lines that didn’t make the cut but I liked what they said.
If I write them here, I can throw away all the bits of papers. WordPress will keep them for me.
But first, over the last couple of years of writing, here’s some things I learned that helped me, like **** (four stars), enormously.
An idea from one of the many writers’ blogs I read: when writing backstory, insert a symbol you can search and find and see if backstory is overloaded. I began by using [%] etc, meaning I typed the bracket and inserted new symbols for new pieces. I could search for a particular part of backstory to see if it was or was not written. The list of symbols, deleted from manuscript, is in recycling.
I wrote about making clouds of words, to see what’s overused, here. And another word tool, Wordle: an online word finder from Princeton.
And two books: The Plot Whisperer by Martha Aldredge which gave credence to intuitive writing and yet nudged me to plan; and The Situation and the Story, Vivian Gornick.
We dream ourselves into being.
Just as I made up the story I wanted, he made up his. The loner story, the outsider, an untamed Jack Kerouac in the 1990s.
…the limitations of sight…
The origins of the phrase “drum up business” from the word drummer, a peddler.
…skin smelled like dark musk and sunshine, a hint of chlorine after a swim.
I’m writing my way around myself, talking in circles, of what will be instead of what is.
…folded into his religion like a razor into its case. Alexander Durrell.
The harbor took color with the new light, rocking in layers of green, silver, and blue…. Also Durrell.
Our shields cracked and there we were.
Robespierre: did he write of the hand of Providence? (I still haven’t looked that up.)
How grudging memory is, and how bitterly she clutches the raw material of her daily work.
I have no idea who wrote that but it’s a great line.
Guilt always hurries to its complement: punishment. Think about that one for a while!
And a last quote from I don’t know where but it’s so fine I have to give it to you.
Mr. Otis had his hat on–hunkered under it like a cat under a table, peering forth reflectively, chewing on a mouthful of air, as old men were known to do. His eyes stretched into crepe-edged triangles.
Thank you. I’m down to bare desktop on The Corner of Notes.
9 thoughts on “Things Unsaid”
I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing those tips and tricks 😉
My pleasure. Glad they were useful. J.
What a great way to take care of the many phrases and quotes we collect 🙂 Disposing, sharing and archiving at the same time. May I steal – ‘borrow’ your idea ? 🙂
Thanks for sharing these … I loved the drummer info byte …
Absolutely! I was staring at a stack of notes, wondering, and then, ah, ha! Use it.
Very inspirational quotes you have there! Congrats on cleaning up the desk! Big accomplishment! Question(s): can you recommend some writing help for non-fiction writers (me!)? And do you follow any non-fiction writer/bloggers? I am slowly working on a Leisure Education Guidebook (something short for kindle). I may be blogging less and focusing more on this project in the next few months. 🙂
I’ll get back to you. I’m a nonfiction writer, i.e. memoir, but memoir always has a story as do essays. So let me do some digging. I can post on your site or you may use the contact me link and we can use email. Your choice.
email would be great, and I appreciate you taking the time, Janet!
search/Google: self help writing tips
You’ll find bloggers and books and articles.
I’m not sure what a Leisure Education Guidebook would look like. Is it more a book to train students or a book for general readership? In other words, who’s your reader?
That would help me understand where to look.
I will check out google. I also bought a couple of self publishing books on kindle (99 centers). I would be writing this for regular readers…:how to find more leisure time…idea. Sort of a short book you would see for 99 cents.