How to edit: Rick Moody’s ‘Guide to Revision’

Even in our days of the internet, when almost everything can be found and traced online, there are still some things that are handed on, from person to person. In a creative writing course a few years ago, I received a copy of author Rick Moody‘s ‘Guide to Revision’. It is a very helpful essay, detailing twelve useful steps to improving one’s writing. The document itself seems rather quaint: there are no publication details, but rather a PO Box address for the author, and any source I could find on the internet seems to provide copies of the same, home-typed document. Here it is again, and thank you, Mr Moody: Rick Moody ‘A Guide to Revision’

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A thought by Gillian Slovo

Sunday Quote_170524

I heard Gillian Slovo, the South African-born author, last Saturday at the International Literature Festival Dublin 2017. She was talking, along with fellow writer Danielle McLaughlin, to author and psychotherapist Susie Orbach, on the topic of Why We Write. Orbach was fantastic in gently teasing out subtexts and hidden corners of thoughts – it felt more like being privy to an intimate conversation than listening to a panel discussion where, in the worst cases, the same old clichés are being rehearsed.

The questions of why we write, and how we write, fascinate me. Continue reading

Parma haikus

Parma_Fog on the bridgesFog shrouds the city
Hidden opportunities
I can’t find my keys

…Four years and four months ago, I left Ireland after living there for ten years and moved to Parma, Italy, to attend a masters course. Part of the course was a writing workshop, where I came up with these gems of wisdom that I would not want to keep from you…

Nebel auf Brücken
Der Fluss fliesst unermüdlich
Warum? Wasser halt

Fog on the bridges
The river never tiring
Why? Well, it’s water

Po-Ebene – Schnee
Zugfahrt ins neue Leben
Erstmal ‘nen Kaffee

Twenty-six boxes
Ten years worth of memories
Where the hell are they?

 

On writing poetry…

rooftopSince the beginning of February, I have been taking part in a weekly poetry writing workshop, organized through The Reader Berlin. I don’t fancy myself as much of a poet, but not least since reading Christopher Johnson’s Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little, I think that poetic skills are very useful also in other writing situations, such as crafting snappy headlines. Every week, we read some poems that the participants have handed in (everyone gets to do two during the course), and discuss them. You read your own poem, but don’t take part in the discussion – that works quite well. I am enjoying the workshops a lot.

Here is the poem I have submitted for next Wednesday’s meeting …

Continue reading