I love that more people are expressing themselves in the written word on the Intertubes.
It used to be that there were only writers, or those who’d rather stick needles in their eyes. One might have expected video—now even real time-video—to leapfrog the need to participate in social media via the written word.
Even things like 140-charcter Twitter have only served to give people a confidence. They have understood that they can craft a “tweet” comprised of 26 elements that gets a laf, like, share, retweet or whatever; this is a social encouragement that’s predictable given the undaunted nature of the human animal. If it was predicted at the outset—which I doubt—it was probably under-predicted. I think the line between a non-writer who can get attention in 140 elements and having a major literary novel success is far less large than authors of major literary novel successes would like to have you believe.
So, now, we’re at this typical, Yin-Yang place where, I see talent in terms of sentence formation, expression of ideas, and a gusto in expressing ideas that might challenge other’s prejudice. …But then, so many go and ruin all that raw granite by composing a single 6″ paragraph, such that it remains raw granite…alls while I was so rooting for polished countertops in sensible sections. After all, the raw material and elements were present. But I was required to cut & polish that granite myself. I don’t have the patience for it.
I’m far from being a great writer. So is just about everyone. But everyone who can get their shit-thoughs together, form a sentence—and either adhere to strict grammar-rules or create a grammatical quasi-style of their own—can be a decent writer. Everyone can also learn to be a decent driver of an automobile, amongst other things.
Keeping to the subject of writing, not granite & cars, it’s fucking fun and rewarding, if you ask me. There is a unique thing about writing where, if you’re creating a story or talking about the stuff you’ve been thinking about, it’s right at your fingertips. The keyboard and Internet are your hammer & nails. You can build a mansion, 3-bedroom house, shack, or an outhouse; my favorite, because it takes only an hour or two, and it’s designed for shit. …Your choice, on any given day. You don’t have to worry about the raw materials because they are in your mind. You have to worry about the hammer, nails, and any other tools important to you.
The most powerful paragraph ever has already been done over and over in the history of writing and literature. It cannot be reduced or deconstructed any further. What’s the most powerful paragraph?
That is, one word. This is the beauty of the paragraph in its purest essential form. It can be a single word. Thing is, most non-pro writer people won’t use a 1-word paragraph. It’s like boxing. A single punch can be the whole game, but it has to be set up properly. It could be that punch in a barrage of punches that does it, but few beyond experts will understand. Better to set that punch apart. Then, everyone gets the power. Why would you want to write, if not to ring someone’s bell? So don’t go and bury your best punch in 6 inches of writing, or a dozen lesser punches. Rather, use 2 or 3 inches to set up your punch, deliver it, and then use the other 2 or 3 inches to finish the job. Make sense?
I’ll give you another metaphor to conclude this. You can be a short-order cook at Denny’s, or a world renowned chef. When the plate is finally served, everyone eats it in bites.