Sunday, 29 September 2013

Dear Writer Revisited: Letters Twenty and Twenty-One

The Ear and the Heart

This letter, Virginia warns, takes the advice she is giving out of the realm of practical discussion and into one of intangibles like "magic" and using "your heart."  It is a letter about allowing a rhythm to develop in your prose.

Rhythm will emerge in prose with constant practice.  You may already have noticed it.  It will match the ideas you are working on and the style of the piece you are writing.  Try reading your work aloud (personally I read to the pets so I don't feel so stupid) and see if it flows trippingly off the tongue the way that Lolita does.
Only through reading good fiction constantly will you find your true rhythm, so read on.

When All's Said and Done

We have reached the end of the road now, blog readers.

Virginia commends Writer on her progress in this letter, providing through her compliments a summary of all the work she has undertaken, and if you've been working along, a kind of checklist for you too.  Do you feel different?  Like a better writer?  I do.  I feel more comfortable, but most of all, I feel like I have well and truly had a kick up the bum, because as Virginia has continually said, Writers are not people who sit around talking about writing, Writers are people who write.  Writing is slow and painstaking effort, and if you're lucky, at the end of it you will have a polished piece, or at least a firm idea of what it is you are trying to say.  If you don't believe that, compare first drafts to final drafts.  Now that you know all of this, you will find yourself taken to that higher plane of inspiration (that is, if you really want to be), and the reader will feel this and be taken along with you.

Thanks for reading along with me as I did this month long program.  I hope that I have encouraged a few of you to pick this book up, if not for the first time then again.  The advice seems just as poignant as ever.

I would like to thank Carmel Bird, and also Bronwyn Mehan and Aziza Green from Spineless Wonders for the opportunity to take part in this review process.

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