Any and all WORD LOVERS need to check out this video!
You won’t regret it!
This beautiful paragraph is taken from Stefan Merril Block’s second novel, The Storm at the Door.
In the soil of a New Hampshire forest, on a summer day of 2007, the words are no longer words, now only particles of ash. At a Massachusetts pencil factory, on a spring afternoon of 1959, the words are not yet words, only a few inches of charcoal in a rod. At the bottom of a milk crate in a cluttered attic, on a winter morning of 1976, the words fade slowly on yellowing paper. Inside the glow of a Franklin stove, on a July day in 1989, the words curl into one another, embrace one another with their sloping appendages, as they incinerate. Ascending the chimney of Echo Cottage in a plume of white, they could have been anything.
I compiled this list while reading Ernest Hemingway on Writing, edited by Larry W. Phillips. The book is a collection of quotes and passages that Hemingway wrote about writing throughout his life. All the passages I quote here are from the section titled “The Qualities of a Writer.” Enjoy!
- Talent– “First, there must be talent, much talent. Talent such as Kipling had.”
- Discipline– “Then there must me discipline. The discipline of Flaubert.”
- Seriousness About Writing– “…real seriousness in regard to writing being one of the two absolute necessities. The other, unfortunately, is talent.”
- Belief in Oneself– “Then there must be the conception of what it can be and an absolute conscience as unchanging as the standard meter in Paris, to prevent faking.”
- Intelligence and the Ability to Learn– “A good writer should know as near everything as possible. Naturally he will not. A great enough writer seems to be born with knowledge. But he really is not; he has only been born with the ability to learn in a quicker ratio to the passage of time than other men and without conscious application, and with an intelligence to accept or reject what is already presented as knowledge. There are some things which cannot be learned quickly and time, which is all we have, must be paid heaviliy for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things…”
- Honesty– “Good writing is true writing. If a man is making a story up it will be true in proportion to the amount of knowledge of life that he has and how conscientious he is; so that when he makes something up it is as it would truly be.”
- Sense of Justice and Injustice– “A writer without a sense of justice and of injustice would be better off editing the year book or a school for exceptional children that writing novels.”
- Imagination– “[Imagination] is the one thing beside honesty that a good writer must have. The more he learns from experience the more truly he can imagine. If he gets so he can imagine truly enough people will think that the things he relates all really happened and that he is just reporting.”
- A Bullshit Detector– “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”
- A Love of Words– “All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time…”
Hello to the blogging and literary world out there! My name is Sarah Schneekloth and I am an aspiring writer, avid reader and lover of words. I recently graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., with a BFA in Creative Writing.
As a new addition to the vast world of self-published opinions, I feel the need to explain what makes me stand out. Although this blog, Glass Typewriter, will be an outlet for a touch of everything I am intrigued by now and again, it will focus simply on words. I will review books, share my journey as an aspiring writer of fiction as well as the challenges that come along with it. I will bring to you whatever spikes my interest, including literary research, interesting facts, Words of the Day, trends in writing and slang, writing prompts, and writing lessons from heads wiser than my own.
Why listen to another wanna-be writer? Well, I have been searching for book reviews for some time that pay just as much attention to the WRITING as to the story itself. I have read several excellent stories lately with poor writing, and the reviews I could find, praised them. If they said anything about the writing itself, it was a quick line or two and purposely steered away from its weaknesses.
Not anymore! My reviews will give just as much attention to the writing as to the stories (You can find in depth reviews on the stories from my neighbors on either side). I will review a variety of books from Young Adult to SciFi to Nonfiction but you will soon find (if you follow my blog) that my true love lies in Fiction. I will review best sellers and books you’ve never heard of. I’m a slow reader because I choose to soak in every detail and become a student of the story. Therefore, I may not bring you as many reviews as other outlets but I will aim to bring you a deeper review. The author’s quirks, simple beauties and annoying habits will all be explored. I will vent and I will praise. I will be a harsh editor. And my true aim, to be a unique voice in the vast literary world.
Check in soon for my first book review and decide for yourself if I’m worth reading.