Linkyness: Writing

“Linkyness” is probably not a word, so I hereby define it as “a suitable heading for a blog post that provides a number of links to other sites”.

There, now we’ve got that cleared up–hello! I hope this August afternoon is as lovely in your neck of the woods as it is in mine.

I’ve come across some interesting writing-related articles recently, and I thought I would share a few with you. I realise that this may not be a fascinating topic for everyone, but I hope that some of you enjoy it—I know I do! And if you don’t, don’t feel obliged to…. After all, you doubtless get excited about lots of things which wouldn’t interest me (maths, if you’re SJ….). We’re all different and that’s not only okay, but is also good—although if I were to get on my soapbox, I would argue that writing is one of the most important subjects out there. But as I am satisfied to have merely nodded in the direction of my soapbox, I will now jump straight to some thought-provoking snippets for you on the wonderful theme of writing.

“Can writing be taught?

No it can’t. Yes it can. In a way, you might say so.”

If that intrigues you, read the rest here.

You have, no doubt, heard of Pixar. Even I have. But do you know their 22 Rules of Storytelling?  They include the following:

When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.”

“Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.”

“Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.”

(HT: Scribblepreach)

And then Suzannah wrote a challenging piece about the importance of technical excellence, which included this:

“Writers: you know, don’t you, that the Authorised Version of the Bible is one of the greatest works of prose literature in the English language? Have you read it? Memorised it? Studied it? Maybe you can sense its unusual beauty, but could you put your finger on the specific techniques employed by its translators to produce that effect? Have you attempted to use those techniques in your own writing? Have you gone on to identify, marinate in, and analyse the works of such other stylists as Jane Austen, CS Lewis, and PG Wodehouse?

If we haven’t truly apprenticed ourselves to the masters of our craft, how can we call ourselves diligent workmen?”

Ouch.

And, finally, to return from the big wide world of writers to the world of ordinary individuals which most of us inhabit most of the time, here is a blog post about journalling from Desiring God:

“Deep joy and satisfaction can come from getting our complicated and confusing thoughts and feelings into words on the page. Our heads and hearts carry around so many unfinished thoughts and emotions we’re only able to finish as we write them down. As praise is not just the expression of joy, but the consummation of it, so is writing to the soul. Writing doesn’t merely capture what’s already inside us, but in the very act of writing, we enable our heads and hearts to take the next step, then two, then ten. It has a crystalizing effect. Good writing is not just the expression of what we’re already experiencing, but the deepening of it.”

And herewith endeth my linkyness. Have a wonderful week! (And, perhaps, make some space to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? Just a little?)

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