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On how to write - convincingly

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 07:19
'The nearest to a panacea is the beginner's persistent reading aloud of his work, reading it softly without listeners and without oratory; reading it, if he can, as intently, as dispassionately, as a doctor fingers down the verterbrae of the spine in search of injury'. (Mirrielees, Story Writing 1929:216)
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'Writing still comes from writing, not from intending to write'.

The concluding words of Edith Ronald Mirrielees in her 1930s book 'Story Writing'.

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Story telling - repetition

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Sep 2012, 06:06

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I have a number of stories where I have used this ploy - I now need to go back and fix, fix, fix.

According to Mirrielees (1947) saying the same thing over and over and yet saying it in a way that the reader accepts it as new is an important component of story telling. 'Tapping on the same spot, yet varying the sound of every tap', is how she puts it. Mirrielees (1947:31)

NOTE TO SELF:

By numbers ... The trap

And read the Pit and the Pendulum.

As movies of TV drama - set things up - the unexpected is rarely effective.

 

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Story Writing - E R Mirrielees

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Sep 2012, 06:07

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Why read this book?

  • To improve all your writing.
  • To subdue some refractory story

Tip 1 - get the story told in first draft.

'You know not, but you know not what you know not'.

Tip 2 - what is the story about? What hols it together?

Tip 3 - Better to be wrong than be spineless. 'Flitter-mindedness - a new idea every week and interest in the old one dead and gone - is one of the handicaps that keep a would-be writer would-be and no more to the end of their writing days'.

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Story Writing: Edith R Mirrielees

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Sep 2012, 06:10

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'A story to be effective had to convey something from writer to reader and the power of its offering was the measure of its excellence'.

So wrote John Steinbeck in 1962 in a letter to his Stanford Creative writing tutor Edith Ronald Mirrieless.

Through Amazon I have got a copy of 'Story Writing' and will apply it in due course. The necessary pain will be returning to a story and sticking with it through all the rewriting.

 

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