Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What Kind of Writer Am I?

Had a teacher tell me once there were two kinds of writers: one writer who says, "Read these words I am putting on the page and get lost in the story." Then there is the other who says, "Watch my hand move. Isn't it awesome?"

The idea, of course, suggests we should be committed to the story on the page and not overly concerned with diction or syntax. We're taught as authors to get out of the way of the story, to use a style appropriate so as not to call attention to itself. If I use a word like peripatetic when I could have used wandering, for example, I might be asking you to notice my hand.

But what about a Thomas Wolfe or a Michael Chabon? Writers' writers as we call them.

Or what about the person who says, "You're taking all the fun of writing away if I can't explore language and words and story."

I suppose the answer is to consider another analogy: there's nothing wrong with hot soup, but, remember, too much spice can ruin it.

And, sometimes, peripatetic is the right word.

1 comment:

Michel Hammes said...

I love your writing partner and your new blog! :)M