Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Edit, Edit, Contextualise

Having missed out on Messages, I started work on a piece of writing at the weekend for War Child. It was based on a letter I wrote two years ago to my best friend, the High Priestess of Punk-chew-ation, which made her laugh a lot. It was a single incident about facing fears and the power and strength you feel afterwards. I had to put it into context and make it less aimed at her.

And what do you know? As I contextualised the story, I wrote away every single funny bit and it turned into the most boring piece of writing I’d ever seen.

*sigh*

8 comments:

laurie said...

audience. you lost your imagined audience.

picture someone else--someone who needs a bit of context, but who loves and respects you and wants to read your letters--and write it for them.

Lane said...

Agree with Laurie. Pick one blog reader or friend and write it for them.

And don't miss the deadline!:-)

Debs said...

I agree with Laurie and Lane - how original am I - I'm sure you'll be fine then. Best of luck.

JJ said...

Oh dear. Yes, I know you're all right. I am feeling a little sorry for myself as I've got Husband's bug, feel horrible and think I've got to give up writing/wanting to write - except this blinking story is going round and round in my head...

david mcmahon said...

G'day from Down Under,

I write a bit - and as you'll see from the series of (writers advice) posts on my blog, I always telling aspiring writers to go easy when editing their own work.

If writing is instinctive, then it suffers heavily from self-editing. In this case, less is more.

Happy to discuss the theory ...!!!

Lane said...

Did I see the words 'give up' in your comment?

Oh no you don't missy.

Hope you feel better soon xx

Leigh said...

Ha-ha [evil laugh], you'll never escape writing. You can't. It has you by the neurones, and you'll never get away [evil laugh fading to background].

Now, have another go at that story, and, when you've finished it, you'll feel much better! Alternatively, have a large gin/brandy/scotch.

Sympathetic hugs (on the condition that there'll be no giving up, okay?)

JJ said...

Hello David, thank you for visiting and for your comments. I had a look at yours earlier today (horribly dawn early) and will go have another look in a minute.

Lane, thanks honey. Feeling horribly crappy...

Hmmm, Leigh, now I'm two lots of antibiotics, one of which doesn't mix with alcohol, so I'll have to stick with the tea! Thanks though. It has got me and its driving me bonkers.