Thursday, August 17, 2006

Peg asks, "Where do you write?"

Here is where I write, a messy, booky, sunny room:

And speaking of writing, yesterday I was thinking about words. Sally Field was chatting away on my television set, like every woman's ideal best friend, telling me about how she had lunch with a girl friend and her friend "had to set aside time every week to take her osteoporosis medicine."

Gasp! Really? Once a week? The poor thing. How could she even begin to manage?

But once my sarcastic streak finished asking Sally what the hell her friend would do if she were diabetic - how could she ever manage the horrors of a DAILY routine, I was reminded of a snippet of a speech I saw last week - on CSPAN or something - I know I'm terrible at remembering who/what/when/where. The man giving the speech was a linguist and he used as an example a radio advertisement he'd heard proclaiming that company X had been "proudly serving the greater Los Angeles area for almost half a decade."

Words. Phrases. Sentences. You have to appreciate the skill it takes to string them together properly. I know I turn various shades of green while reading almost anything. I used to aspire to "writing pretty". But I've come to know that while I should always push myself to do the best I can, I am not a pretty writer. My writing will tell you the facts and will sometimes lay the flesh open to the bone and expose what lies beneath, but it ain't pretty.

I've been in critique groups where I've heard people tell writers that they 'should' or 'shouldn't' with their writing. "There should be more detail." "There is too much detail, get to the meat."

I think they are wrong. You write in your voice. That's where the good stuff is. Once you start writing for some outside critic or some standard that you read about in Writers Digest, you might as well give it up.


peg said...

Now, your writing space/place looks like one I could get used to!

Interesting ideas about writing in "your voice" -- do you think your fiction voice is far different from your blog voice?

JanetLee said...

Peg - That is difficult to answer. The novel I just completed was written in the first person. The character had her own voice to such an extent that when I read portions for my writer's group, my accent would change without my being aware of it. But I think my fiction voice is pretty close to what I do here, non-fancy, straight-forward writing. AT least I hope so.