Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Writing Quote

The best thing that my writing group do for me is to point out all the places where I have used more word than I need to. My poems always get shorter after our meetings.

This quote gets to the essence of the matter:

Taking away words lets a loud voice stick out. Does it scare you? More words will cover it up with static. It is no accident that timid people are often wordy. Saying nothing takes guts. If you want to say nothing and not be noticed, you have to be wordy.
- Peter Elbow, "Writing Without Teachers"

2 comments:

Star said...

Saying more with less is indeed a skill. Michele sent me.

Jeanne said...

This post just reminded me of a quote I love from the Sung Dynasty poet Yang Wan-Li
"Now, what is poetry? If you say it is simply a matter of words, I will say a good poet gets rid of words. If you say it is simply a matter of meaning, I will say a good poet gets rid of meaning. "But," you ask, "without words and without meaning, where is the poetry?" To this I reply, "Get rid of words and get rid of meaning and still there is poetry."