RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V3 #966

From: marianne.macdonald@lineone.net
Date: 20 Nov 2001

>There are certainly writing teachers
>(I've encountered them) who cling resolutely and often wrongly to "less is
>more" as an unwavering rule, but the problem is the rigidity, not the
>philosophy itself. Ultimately, any real writer is going to find his or her
>own voice
I've never tried teaching creative writing (though I spent several decades teaching Twain and Hemingway and discussing student essays and dissertations), but I'd like to make a defense of this as a first approach.

What is most commonly most wrong with inexperienced writers is that they haven't yet learned to say precisely what they mean. Being aware of this, they go round and round hoping to hit on the point in the end. To tell _them_ to cut the wordage is a part of the process of tightening up meaning. "own voice" - absolutely. But en route, conscious brevity is certainly a valuable step, as much in the thinking process as anything else.

Marianne (thinking of cutting down this mail - but ah hell that's email for you)

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