jueves, 20 de marzo de 2014

Writers Lessons from A Moveable Feast

I thinks Hemingway's Paris A Moveable Feast is the best writer's guide yo can possibly find because the book is written from the author's perspective as a writer.
Let's listen to the master's lessons then:

Transplanting yourself

Meaning submerging yourself into the story. That is, you are there, the story is you, you are the story.
You want to make the kind of story someone would dive in, making the mind of the reader stop thinking about any other thing to connect to your writing.
A stopping time story.
...And in one place you could write about it better than in another. That was called transplanting yourself... in the story the boys were drinking and this made me thirsty.

How do you know you've written good stuff?

After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.

How to organize your time and when to stop writing

Writing good books may need some organization and how to keep the good flow of the story?
I always worked until I had something done and always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.

Well, here you end your work day with the beginning of the next day's work, making sure you've finish your part of the story for today.
That reminds me of a saying:
The day begins the night before.

How to keep on writing when you are stuck?

Write one true sentence.
Creativity works in mysterious ways and all of a sudden you may get blocked not knowing what to write next.
Then all you've got to do is write one true sentence and then go on from there. It may come from you or from someone else, or somewhere else.

Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.

And throw all the elaborative, presentation style writing away.

Unplug from the story, let the subconscious work

Writing a book is a very demanding process and you must really commit to it. But natural pauses are needed to open your mind to new ideas and sharp your spirit for observation.
You need to refresh and recycle the flow, otherwise you will become impotent to do your work.

I learned not to think about anything that I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again next day. That way my subconscious will be working on it and at the same time I would be listening to other people and noticing everything.

In other words, get out of your oyster like world and come out to the world other wise you will be worn out and blocked real soon.
Learn to live in the two worlds for one cannot exists without the other.
Enjoy reading others books as you enjoy writing yours.

Get happy with your work

Going down the stairs when I had worked well, and that needed luck as well as discipline, was a wonderful feeling as I was free then to walk anywhere in Paris.

Getting inspiration from any available source

I went there nearly every day for the Cezannes and the Manets and the Monets and the other impressionists.. I was learning something from the painting of Cezanne that made writing simple true sentence far from enough to make stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them.

We can say that he invented impressionism to literature. Impressionist artists only use the minimal brush strokes to portrait the essence of the image.
You cannot see the whole when you watch it close, but to really see an impressionist painting you must make three steps back and shrink your eyes as when it is windy.

Then a wonderful, powerful image is presented to you, full of light and force as if it were alive, and that image will cause an impression on you forever.

That was the thing that Hemingway learned: write stories with simple sentences and when one looks at it from far away they come alive and its mastery and beauty explode in one's mind to stay forever.

Cezanne landscape picture inspired Hemingway's writing

Photo credit public domain http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paul_C%C3%A9zanne_090.jpg

All quotes in this article are taken from Hemingway's book: A moveable feast.
First Appartment of Hemingway in Paris, 74 Rue Cardinal Lemoine
Paris, Place de la Contrescarpe

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