Apr 4, 2006, 2:19 PM
Post #118 of 235
Hmmm...two interesting points to latch on to:
Re: [sarandipidy] Grad school
Lots of talented people will give poor advice, especially if there is a *stylistic* difference involved.
Do you mean to say that, the majority of the time, we give advice that is only suited to a style similar to our own? I'm still wrestling with this one. I think it makes sense to find people who share your sensibility--a group that writes wacky, postapocalyptic fabulisms, if that's your thing. But on the other hand, in my own limited, undergrad experience, I often got the best advice from students with an opposing sensibility--in my case, those who stressed plot and character, clear, simple writing, and a slew of 'traditional' things I still tend to look down on or not entirely understand. That criticism worked kind of like a governmental checks and balances system; it tended to round out my work with insights that my similar minded peers could not provide.
Still, I don't have a clue how much I should let this stuff guide my decisions.
But there is much more to writing than craft.
I'm tempted to say that any effect can be quantified. Otherwise, we're dealing in mysticism. Everything is bound up in words, right there on the page. You might say it's all craft.
What makes a reader sad, angry, or hopeful, gives the impression of 'genius' or 'a born writer' or 'artist' vs. 'hack',--isn't it all reducible to style, to diction, syntax, and the like? Isn't a 'true artist' just someone who makes good, consistent choices?
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