What He “Said”

Having a gorgeous weekend here in the United Kingdom. This was yesterday…

[From my Instagram Stories. Photo by me, Potton, England, July 17, 2021.]

So it hardly seems worth being inside and reading? True. One can easily be OUTSIDE and reading. LOL!

I do also write outside. It is impossible to do so in the full sun, of course. But sitting in the shade with the Microsoft Surface on a table or even in my lap I can get even some small amount done. Every little bit helps.

As we know, the internet is full of writing advice. Frankly, when it comes to advice and examples to follow, I look mostly to truly accomplished authors. For example:

[From Instagram.]

One of the most successful and prolific U.S. authors of the 20th century, compared at times to Tolstoy, Herman Wouk sure as heck knew what he was talking about…

[The Winds of War, by Herman Wouk. Photo by me, 2018.]

That is one bit of writing advice I have long tried to put into practice: write some each day insofar as possible.

That writing may be only, say, three paragraphs… or it may be 10 pages. Following that example, whatever the amount you write, whether it is daily leaps or just creeps, you will always eventually finish as long as you are writing something “every day.”

Then there this sort of “advice“…

[From Instagram.]

“Trite?” Even the word “Hi” could also be termed trite. Or what should I write? “Greetings?” Not unless I am writing a medieval fantasy. The reality is there are words and phrases used to communicate well-known and ordinary actions because the point to language is to be understood.

Indeed when I see such “advice” I like to check out writing by the person sharing it. “Writing is supposed to be a creative process…” is a phrase that itself may well be termed trite. (Have we not seen that used exactly, or in some similar form, uncountable times?) Indeed it took me ten seconds to see in the very first paragraph in Mr. Klems’ only book I found on Amazon (Oh, Boy, You’re Having a Girl) the stunningly original phrase “bundle of joy.” Uh, a tad trite that, no?

Every sentence should mean something, but not every word or phrase in every sentence is going to be groundbreaking. Engaging in an unending game of “consult the thesaurus” in twisting yourself into knots always to avoid writing, for example, “said,” will only make it painfully obvious you were using a thesaurus. Above all, readers should never be unintentionally confused.

[From The Winds of War, by Herman Wouk. Photo by me, 2021.]

Some he “said,” he “said,” by, uh, Herman Wouk. LOL!

[A 1794 France excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris. Photo by me, 2021.]

Then there is me above. I would never claim to be anywhere in Wouk’s league. Yet regardless sometimes someone just needs to have “said” it with a “smile.”😁

When it comes to serious writing advice as well as an example to try to follow? To my mind, there is no contest. I will continue to go with the likes of Wouk… particularly if the choice is him vs. someone who wrote one 220 page lighthearted book eight years ago whom I first came across the day before yesterday thanks to a passed around Insta-meme and whose own advice is basically contradicted by himself in the first paragraph of that book.

Anyway that is what I feel. I think I will sit again today outside in the shade with my Surface and write at least a page or so. Hope you are having a good weekend, wherever you are. 🙂

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