scgreene (scgreene) wrote in thru_the_booth,

Writing Secrets from a Thieving Blabber

          I don't believe in secrets.

       That is to say, I don't believe in the idea of secrets being secret.

        Even the lock on a diary won't protect


        I discovered that ... well ... secret, when I was nine and I read in my older sister's diary
that Tiger Graham was a slobbery kisser.

       I could have told Flip that. All she had to do was look at his mouth.

       The only secret you need to know, as a writer, is that everyone has the same secrets. Call them desires, shames, longings, fears ... write to convey your own secrets and you'll write something universal.

      In order to do that,

      you have to figure out how to unlock your diary.


       There is no clean and easy way to do this. Many writers never do.

       I often steal.

       Wherever I can find them, I collect the bits of wisdom expressed by others that resonate with me, and I

       hoard them.

       From a movie review of "Dan in Real Life": "... does not strain after big conceptual jokes,

       but rather finds humor in things PEOPLE MIGHT ACTUALLY SAY."

       The caps are mine.

       Or this:

                                Edward Steichen on the mission of photography:

                              "... to explain man to man and each man to himself."


        Or this, from an article about a Japanese architect, Toshiko Mori on how she breaks a creative block:

                               "If I may be presumptuous, I never have it, because whatever the problem is,

                                I completely dig into it. And I think one excavates a solution."    

            But, really?

            When I'm not stealing, I believe in what Doris Lessing said when she

            was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature a year ago this month.

                    "... the essential question is: "Have you found a space,

                    that empty space, which should surround you when you write?

                    Into that space, which is like a form of listening,

                    of attention,

                    will come the words, the words your characters will speak,

                    ideas - inspiration... And we, the old ones, want to
                    whisper into those innocent ears: "Have you still got

                    your space? Your soul, you own necessary place

                    where your own voices may speak to you, you alone,

                    where you may dream.

                    Oh, hold on to it, don't let it go."






  • Want to write a great voice? Listen.

    Originally published at Through the Tollbooth. Please leave any comments there. On Sunday night, Meryl Streep won her third Academy Award for…

  • Got Voice? Augusta Scattergood Does!

    Originally published at Through the Tollbooth. Please leave any comments there. I first met Augusta Scattergood in 2005 at the Rutgers…

  • Eat Dessert First!!!!

    Originally published at Through the Tollbooth. Please leave any comments there. This was possibly the best advice I ever received. Eat…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.