Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sharing words of wisdom offered by way of a friend...

My kick-ass cinematographer buddy, Brad Rushing, sent me these tidbits by Mark Twain in anticipation of National novel Writing Month, starting the first:

1) “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.”

2) “There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn’t because the book is not there and worth being written — it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself.”

3) “A man who is not born with the novel-writing gift has a troublesome time of it when he tries to build a novel. I know this from experience. He has no clear idea of his story; in fact he has no story. He merely has some people in his mind, and an incident or two, also a locality, and he trusts he can plunge those people into those incidents with interesting results. So he goes to work. To write a novel? No–that is a thought which comes later; in the beginning he is only proposing to tell a little tale, a very little tale, a six-page tale. But as it is a tale which he is not acquainted with, and can only find out what it is by listening as it goes along telling itself, it is more than apt to go on and on and on till it spreads itself into a book. I know about this, because it has happened to me so many times.”

4) “Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.”

5) “I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English – it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them – then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.”

6) “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.”

7) “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”

8) “My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.”

9) “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

Oh, and one little tidbit -- Killing Moon is a semi-finalist in the 13Horror screenplay competition.

Dude, the 'tude may be rude but it's been imbued with thoughts to be chewed, since it means I'm not booed and my writing's the food that enhances my mood...except when I'm screwed by characters crude...but still there's no feud for as one is clued into the soft blued lights that shine on the shrewd who are then well-wooed to be lovingly nude...with their thoughts neatly queued.

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