Sunday, March 1

The Art of Writing

I confess that I have not read any of the Twilight book by Stephanie Meyer and I'm not sure that I will. My stack of books I really want to read grows higher and higher, so I'm being selective.

Ms. Meyer moved a little lower on my list after the recent smackdown by Stephen King, an author who has produced quite a number of books, though I think I've read only a couple by him. Mark Flanagan reported on Stephen King calling out Stephanie Meyer as did The Guardian, but quite likely because King seems to admire the writing abilities of one J.K. Rowling. The blogosphere rumbled a bit with the Meyer loyalists lining up to call King petty and jealous, which I found quite amusing, and suggesting King can't write very well either. So very junior high, but then the audience for which Meyer writes is of the pre-teen/teen demographic.

There was another Meyer smackdown by someone who posted to a blog. The writer basically said that Meyer fans shouldn't get too excited because Meyer writes books for teens that are written at a 5th grade level. I'd heard that before and I'm not surprised, but I'll follow-up on the reading level crisis in my other blog. But I also read that Meyer has stopped work on her current manuscript because someone leaked a draft to the 'net; that seems a little pouty to me, but perhaps she's feeling wounded because Stephen King essentially called her a hack. A fairly successful hack, of course, given that her book was made into a movie and the movie seemed to do well and kids can't seem to get enough of her books.

I was thinking about that as I settled into English Creek by Ivan Doig. I love the work of Ivan Doig. Every once in a while I just have to stop and re-read a sentence, sometimes read it out loud to really hear how it sounds and get a clearer sense of the images in the words. I recently found one such paragraph is in English Creek and one such sentence is the last one in the paragraph. Enjoy.
My brother and my father. I am hard put to know how to describe them as they seemed to me then, in that time when I was looking up at them from fourteen years of age. How to lay each onto paper, for a map is never the country itself, only some ink suggesting the way to get there (p. 30).

No comments: