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  • Simon Faiers

Straining out a gnat


Writing is a difficult, frustrating business. Right at this very moment I am sitting at a keyboard trying to write this blog entry and am having to push against a wall to get the bloody words out. My sentences come out very short. And it looks to the reader like. I'm talking while having. An asthma attack. Or they come out packed with an excessive amount of information and go on for a really, really, really, really, really, really long time without any let-up or any punctuation, and I find myself having to use semicolons and whatever these (-) are in order to provide some relief for the reader. Or I repeat phrases over and over and over until they become tedious and annoying.

The other thing is that I can provide description for the reader, or I can keep the story moving along, but I can't do both things simultaneously. I either produce a fast-moving, well-paced few paragraphs that are incredibly vague, or I describe what is in the room and what the characters are wearing but nothing actually happens.

Stage one of the writing is always a "brain dump", just vomitting the story on to the page and not worrying about how well it reads. Stage two is the fine-tuning, and that's where I get stuck, because the process of improving the writing results in everything getting tangled and messy.

How does anybody do this? How does writing work?

Also, there is this principle at work that dictates that every draft of what I'm writing looks fine except the draft I am currently working on.


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