Monday, April 12, 2010

Writing lesson

Technically, I'm still taking a break from writing anything meaningful but this is a perfect time to sharpen my skills. I happened across a little pamphlet type of book published around the turn of the century, 1903 to be exact. Yellowed, frayed and faded, with several pages missing, this little treasure has obviously had some use over time. Scribbling on every page is in some sort of short hand I think, with symbols, numbers and lines making up the most of it. The pamphlet lays down the basics of writing short stories and articles. It suggests several exercises to hone one's writing abilities. I spent a few minutes dabbling with some of the ideas. At first I felt it was all about old methods probably no longer used in modern society. I found however, that the short, concentrated lessons were timeless actually. Each step highlighted certain components of an interesting story. How to present, describe, create and maintain interest, all that sort of thing. All in a book small enough to fit in my back pocket. Looking forward to putting the lessons into practice later in the day, I did just that, put it in my back pocket while I drove to and from different stores running weekly errands. When I was finished with the errands I learned another valuable lesson from that old writing pamphlet. Old, faded, yellowed, frayed books have another quality, they are very brittle and if they are put in your back pocket and sat upon they will turn into a million little bits of confetti.

Some lessons are timeless. One of the first lessons In the book was to do your research and pay attention to details or the entire story will fall apart. Kind of prophetic isn't it? It reminds me of an old proverb dating back eons, "You just can't fix stupid!" That's the way I felt while I emptied all the paper out my pocket.........................Joe


Padolsky said...

Why don't you write a short story with the clues to the whereabouts of the medallion in it, instead of the riddles you usually do? You could release a part of the story every month. It could be a way to get people interested in your writing.

Joe Cramer said...

That's a pretty good idea. Thanks! I'll give it consideration. The riddle will stand as is come this fall though. It's worked for 29 years for over 40,000 people each year so I figure, why not 30? By the way, what type of weather and season is going on over there? I just planted potatoes, onions and beans.

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