26 August 2013

A Writer's Desk...

When introduced to a new writer, I like to visit their website (whatever would we do without Internet?!) to find a bit of trivia. If like me you wonder how or where your favourite author(s) writes their novels, you might then find out that for some, the preferred setting is perhaps a secluded place in the country with a large window opening on the moors or a spacious loft in the city facing the riverbank, or even a tiny corner of a basement, or even better, a private office complete with extensive bookshelves in the comfort of their home...

To write any novel, I imagine there must a certain atmosphere for the writer, for some, total peace and quiet for others, a little background music perhaps...I would think a closed door would be an added bonus...Privacy would be important at least to me: No peeking allowed!

Thus a writer begins by stringing words together, like beads to tell his/her story. 
When writing, a novelist communicates real and imagined events, bringing them to life, preserving them for the future. They cannot will it to happen, only persistence and hard work along with a good dose of faith will do I would think!

But a good writer lives his/her dream and shares their passion!

Stephen King (not an author I care to read albeit a very successful one I hear...Truly his one merit: He loves Corgis!) states in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft :

"Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

Non Fiction writer Anne Lamott stated in her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life :

"Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. 
We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

 (Ernest Hemingway's writing desk)

In turn Ernest Hemingway in his book Ernest Hemingway on Writing describes a good book in such a way:

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

(E. Hemingway's cat and typewriter)

Did you know it is rumored that Hemingway was once asked to write a story in six words. The result? "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

How can anyone write a complete story in just a mere 6 words? Well, read the sentence again and imagine 'the rest of the story'...The essence of a good writer?!

(Jane Austen's writing corner)

"Miss Austen was surely a great novelist. What she did, she did perfectly.... She wrote of the times in which she lived, of the class of people with which she associated, and in the language which was usual to her as an educated lady. Of romance—what we generally mean when we speak of romance—she had no tinge: heroes and heroines with wonderful adventures there are none in her novels. Of great criminals and hidden crimes she tells us nothing. But she places us in a circle of gentlemen and ladies, and charms us while she tells us with an unconscious accuracy how men should act to women, and women act to men. It is not that her people are all good; and, certainly, they are not all wise. The faults of some are the anvils on which the virtues of others are hammered till they are bright as steel. In the comedy of folly, I know no novelist who has beaten her. The letters of Mr. Collins, a clergyman in Pride and Prejudice, would move laughter in a low-church archbishop."
(Anthony Trollope, 1870)

What might your favourite writer(s) creative corner look like?...


  1. I'm no writer but I do like to paint, I think the area would be much the same. There is a house on my bus run on top of a hill with a wonderful 360 view I think, I have never been inside. On top of this house is a glassed in room maybe a bit hot in summer but if I could I would buy this house just for that room. The house is owned by plumbers lets hope they are creative plumbers.

    1. Oh Merle, that sounds like a wonderful house! I can well imagine a painter feeling on top of the world with such light! For that reason, Le Corbusier has always been a favourite architect of mine!
      Plumbers did you say? Well, you might just use feminin charm and strike a bit of chatting with them someday...Who knows where this might lead to...
      Be sure to let us know 'the rest of the story'! stopping by Merle! Hugs to Angus and hello to the beer faerie!
      Always nice to see you

  2. Love the post! And what a poignant but brief story by Hemingway! Our minds immediately fill in all the rest. Fascinating.

    1. I agree Judy, my imagination was running at full speed after reading that line!


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