Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beware the Opt

I'm reading On Writing by Stephen King.

As the title suggests, it's about words, stories, books, and how a very serious pop horror novelist makes them happen. Parenthetically, however, anything goes.

I don't want to speak too disparagingly of my generation (actually I do, we had a chance to change the world and opted for the Home Shopping Network), but there was a view among the student writers I knew at that time that good writing came spontaneously, in an uprush of feeling that had to be caught at once; when you were building that all-important stairway to heaven, you couldn't just stand around with your hammer in your hand.

Probably smart to keep that opting history in mind. It happens for good reason. Not fearlessly virtuous reason, of course. But understandable reason. Real reason. Reason the roots of which are in everyone probably.

Hopefully knowing that will help us choose the different path.

And, stepping back outside the parentheses, I'd be curious to hear a conversation between King and Elizabeth Gilbert on the subject of spontaneity. Just sayin.

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