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Generate some heat

“Too often, writers fear that in order to get attention in an over-stimulated world, they need to open with a car crash, a zombie apocalypse, an explosion of expletives, an alternate universe, or prose that turns cartwheels on the ceiling. It’s not that those things can’t work, but they’re certainly not necessary, and unless they’re done exceedingly well, they backfire. What the editor is really looking for is presence on the page—a feeling that you, the author, are in control; that you have a deep respect for language and a well-made sentence, no matter how plain or ornate; that something is at stake; and that in addition to whatever plot you are hatching, you can create friction in the simple act of rubbing two sentences up against each other.” – Dawn Raffel, “The Most Important Words”

Published inLit & CritVerandah

2 Comments

  1. Averil Averil

    This is terrific. Thanks, T.

    XO

    • admin admin

      You’re welcome, A. It was my good fortune to make Dawn’s acquaintance long ago in NYC, when she and I were students of Gordon Lish. She had a quiet seriousness and humility that were most impressive.

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