Super-Long? She Doesn’t Know the Meaning of Super-Long

August 19th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Okay, maybe she does. We couldn’t write a title of this length if we tried. Tingle Alley (why use real names when the alter ego is so evocative) takes a long hard look at writing manuals and discovers the cold, hard truth. In the process, she also reveals the reason why magazines don’t cut to the chase on weight loss: the truth won’t sell ads.

We actually have a weakness for purchasing books on writing. Look, right there behind us, shelves of the things. Remarkably few have their spines broken. A couple have receipts or those things that fall out of magazines hoping you’ll subscribe — suggesting that we may have perhaps opened the book and read. We suspect we placed the bookmark-like objects to fool the husband so when we purchased another “how to” book, he wouldn’t ask too many questions. After all, to our eternal shock, he actually reads the computer doorstops he purchases.

We did, however, actually read such a book cover-to-cover. Yes, there were extenuating circumstances, but the fact is we read it and felt…hopeful…afterward. Because it didn’t offer a prescription. It didn’t suggest we’d learn the secret handshake. It didn’t hint there is a wrong way and right way to do things. There was a strong suggestion that (Tingle Alley, if you’re reading this, cover your eyes) practice makes perfect, but even that felt good. Like it was something we could do. Given that we’ve been a bit stalled (not blocked — we don’t believe in block) for a while, this was exactly the read we needed. So, while the article gets all excited about John Gardner’s On Becoming a Novelist, we’re going to stick with Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones.

Now about that practice thing we’ve been hearing so much about…

File Under: Tools and Craft