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What’s Your Writing Manifesto?

SO YOU WRITE? WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WRITE? By this I don’t mean simply ‘which genre?’ or ‘which story lines or characters?’ I mean to ask: what is it that you write into everything? You are your words and your words are you.

A few years ago, I was reading Jack Kerouac and came across his Belief & Technique For Modern Prose: List of Essentials. I was inspired. Love him or hate him, Kerouac pressed my buttons enough for me to want to write down myself, my processes, my thinking on writing, what I write (or try to write) in everything I produce.

So, a simple question to you: what’s your writing manifesto, your technique? Inspire yourself, my fellow writer. You are stardust.

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Belief & Technique For Modern Prose: List of Essentials

Jack Kerouac, 1958 from a letter to Don Allen, in Heaven & Other Poems, Grey Fox Press.

Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
Submissive to everything, open, listening
Try never get drunk outside yr own house
Be in love with yr life
Something that you feel will find its own form
Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
Blow as deep as you want to blow
Write what you want bottomless from bottom of mind
The unspeakable visions of the individual
No time for poetry but exactly what is
Visionary tics shivering in the chest
In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
Like Proust be an old teahead of time
Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
Accept loss forever
Believe in the holy contour of life
Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
In Praise of Character in the Bleak Inhuman Loneliness
Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
You’re a Genius all the time
Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

– Dean Cody Cassady


Entertain Your Reader

WRITE YOUR FIRST DRAFT WITHOUT THOUGHT, just allow the creative spirit to produce your magic. Then go through it with your editorial hat on, and revise to include the following points.

Have characters, will travel

You have an idea where your story is going, but no clear destination; it just develops as your characters take over. Look then at the ending and how they arrived there. Perhaps you set the reader up for one sort of story, then handed out something quite different. You will probably need to scrap the opening and rewrite it from an entirely different perspective.

Aim for clarity

Use simple words and easily assimilated sentences. Your writing should be direct and honest. Otherwise you sound as if you’re trying too hard to sound clever, and only frustrate the reader.

The reader is not stupid

Trust the reader to be able to fill in small details. Give enough information to develop your characters and to move the story forward, but don’t try to describe everything, or report every movement.

The reader is not psychic

Be specific. Although readers can be trusted to fill in small parts of the picture, they can’t make the big leap into your mind. Details that are relevant and interesting must be included if what is in your head is to appear as a vivid scene on your page.

Entertain the reader

This holds true for non-fiction as much as for fiction.

Consult

Show your work to someone prepared to be brutal. Ask them to mark on the page places where interest drops, confusion arises, or other problems they perceive.

Read

Look at others’ work to see how you could have done it, could have kept the reader’s interest better. If you are thoroughly entertained by it, see how the author has achieved this.

– Stephen Gritton


WD’s New Front Page

HELLO GUESTS AND MEMBERS ALL!

As you can see Writers’ Dock now sports a new front page.

Apart from its exceptional good looks, we’re excited about it for another reason – the ease it gives us in allowing us to sharing information with you!

You’ll now be able to come to WRITERSDOCK for regular tips on writing and the publishing industry at large without having to log into our forums.

Pop back often for updates.

Love ya!

– Stephen Gritton