Saturday, July 24, 2010

run-on fragments

I had a chance this week to answer some questions on my favorite blog by a kid who is a terrific writer and reader of books. I'll naturally link it here and say more about it when or if he runs the stuff.

I enjoyed answering the questions because he asked ones that you never really see on YA blogs. You know, those ten or so questions that every blogger asks every writer and they drive me crazy and make me want to throw my keyboard out the window (and the kids who came over the other day and wanted to see the "magic office" where the writing is done will attest to the fact that I have an abundance of windows there and the drop is a substantial distance). Well... he didn't ask those questions.

But one of the last questions he asked made me think of something else last evening, after I had finished for the day and was satisfied with where I'd left off in my current project (and I'll digress here for just a moment and say that I am a HUGE believer in Hemingway's philosophy that you should stop writing for the day when you're in the middle of something and you're going good).

The question had to do with why I write. Now, I could be all holier-than-thou and talk about the calling or the obligation of the artist, but I think that's a bunch of crap that shouldn't be talked about because it doesn't matter (it's like one of those predictable ten bloggers' questions).

One of the things I like about writing books is this: You know that feeling that you have when you're reading a really good story and you find yourself turning page after page, but you're holding this finite thing in your hands (hopefully, a real, paper, book) and you can actually feel the very end of it under the tips of the fingers in your right (unless you're reading Hebrew) hand?

Well, writing gives you that same in-the-moment rush, but there is no predetermined ending. You have no idea how long the ride will last and what kinds of drops and turns are ahead of you. This is all assuming, of course, that you like what you write; that YOU are your first, most important audience -- and I am convinced that there are plenty of successful writers out there who don't particularly like what they write, but have car payments to make and such.

But that's another topic entirely.

Like run-on sentences.

And fragments.