Month: February 2011

Ending Virginia Woolf

This writing thing is an interesting process–learning to do it, learning to do it better, figuring out what to say. A lot of times it takes hearing the same thing from dozens of sources before it sinks in, before the learning writer internalizes the lesson. Part of the reason I’m working on this blog is…

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Sketching

I was tromping through my library, knowing that I had found everything of Virginia Woolf’s that they could offer–when lo! There: a teeny-tiny book in the literary crticism section that had Woolf’s name on the spine. Immediately I grabbed it. It’s called Carlyle’s House. It’s a book of sketches. As Doris Lessing says in the…

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Give Me the Deets

“He unfastens his sock suspenders (let us be trivial, let us be intimate). Then with a characteristic gesture (it is difficult to avoid these ready-made phrases, and they are, in his case, somehow appropriate)….” ~V.W.–the character Bernard, describing the Headmaster in The WavesThis passage struck me as something to discuss for a couple reasons: 1.…

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The Transition Between Periods

In her exploration of Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf made this observation: “Let us take Persuasion, the last completed novel, and look by its light at the books she might have written had she lived. There is a peculiar beauty and a peculiar dullness in Persuasion. The dullness is that which so often marks the transition…

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Criticism and the Writer

Let’s face it: Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight saga, has taken some serious knocks from other writers. Yes, some of those writers may be jealous of Meyer’s success. Some of those writers may legitimately think that Meyer is successful beyond reason for no reason. When is it okay to criticize a writer, and how…

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Love Letters: Inner Critic Trickery

A buddy of mine was recently having issues with the Inner Critic. The beast has hunted writers throughout history. I’ve heard various bits of advice in handling this creature–writing letters to the Critic (Heckler, as my friend Deb calls him/her), writing fast (outpace him/her), etc. But, in the end, how a writer handles this demon…

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Recurring Themes and You

We like to think that we’re saying something unique and original Every Single Time We Write…or at least, I do. Such is not always the case. Our lives are limited to, well, our lives. Our passions are limited to (you guessed it) our passions. In general, these things don’t radically change. Patterns emerge and repeat.…

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