Monday, November 19, 2007

Knowing when to shut up.

There are few things worse to a writer than feeling like you have nothing to write about. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to produce when participating in things like NaBloPoMo, and some writers feel like they choke under the pressure.

But you see, that's not it at all...

Personally, I have always believed that my time that I'm not writing is what gives my writing such life and vitality, and I say this for two reasons... One, my down time is when new ideas begin to spring forth from the gestation period in the back of my brain, readying themselves to jump upon the page and stomp on whatever intellectual tokyo that gets in their way.

Two, I have always believed that the mark of a truly great writer is knowing when to end the story. I know that sounds kinda silly in our age of endless sequels and prequels but think about it... would Chinatown have had it's same impact if we followed Jake to go grab a beer afterward? Would Scarlett O'hara be the tragic figure she is if we were there to witness the downward spiral that we saw coming after Rhett leaves? Would The Princess Bride have stirred our emotions as heavily if we found out that the four of them were recaptured by the Florin army after Wesley and Buttercups kiss?

I could go on... but there seems little point. In fact, i probably should have ended that last paragraph a sentence earlier, and left off this sentence entirely :)


Canardius said...

You mean the Florin army recaptures the four of them???

Melinda Barton said...

Excuse me, but I'm a published writer many times over and we all know that I don't know when to shut up. That's what editors are for.