Thursday, July 09, 2009
The Lonely Doll
Hey Mark, Thanks for reminding me about Nurse Jackie -- blog topic for tomorrow!
Writers are good at usually very specific things -- characters or plot or dialogue or setting. It's hard to keep all the proverbial balls in the air. For a long time, I favored character development above all else. I wasn't so hot at dialogue, terrible at setting, and plot was a disaster. I didn't know how to make things happen. It should come as no surprise that my first story in undergraduate workshop was about a woman having a nervous breakdown. Her breakdown consisted of getting upset when people honked their horns at her and picking out dresses that looked like tents. Seriously. It was horrid. I had a few good lines. Much like one might find something of minimal value while going through the trash.
I got better at language, the only tool a writer has. I got better at endings, always a problem. Life is so shapeless -- hard to see where a situation begins or ends. Every once in a long while, we experience those moments of clarity where we know what's happening. But most of the time we only see in retrospect, i.e., We know in part, we prophecy in part . . . Consider the relentless MJ coverage. Most of it seeks to understand whether he was an abused boy, a misunderstood genius, a pedophile with a lot of money, a legend. The facts remain the same, but the shaping is important. What to put in, what to leave out. Where we find value or fault. Writers have it tough sometimes, but we also have it pretty good. As Winston Churchill said, "I know history will be kind to me, for I will write it."
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Once there was a little doll. Her name was Edith. She lived in a nice house and had everything she needed except somebody to play with. She was very lonely!" Dare Wright, The Lonely Doll
Detroiters' Alert: Reading by Meg Cabbott at Barnes and Noble -- see Walking Man for details!
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday! Still working on e-mails and other stuff. Thanks for being so patient!