Archive for June, 2010

Ingredients

If you are going to be a writer, there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you are not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you.  What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know the effort is real.”

–James Baldwin

When someone asks what I do, I resist saying that I teach people how to write. They already know how. What I do is show how and why it works.  I demonstrate how to see what’s on the page, listen to what you have written and why patience counts even when it feels uncomfortable. I prove that writing gets better with practice. I make a place where together we can see why some things work and why some don’t. I help bludgeon away adverbs and overblown adjectives. I show why verbs matter, why clichés aren’t your best friends, why behavior and dialogue need each other and how writing with your senses connects with the reader. If this sounds like editing, it’s because it is and that’s the closest I can come to a definition. (more…)