Monday, March 26, 2007

Breathe as you write...

Amos Oz told me, "Breathe as you write and write as you breathe." I myself remember writing in this very blog about fiction as a shotgun house: you must walk all the way through one room before you can enter the next. Yet I forget this advice, over and over--I take shortcuts through the rooms, dive out the window, holding my breath or taking it in shallow gulps. I reread what I've written months or weeks ago and it's rushed and empty. My favorite writer is Yuri Olesha because of his details: a boy with close-shaved blond hair whose head shines like a bowl of chicken broth. Why not learn from him, even copy his style if not his substance? Why not stop and look around? I'm so afraid of not grabbing the reader, not getting to the point in the first paragraph, the first sentence--but it's speed itself that is boring.

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