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old bulllee ruminates July 4, 2006

Posted by jeanne in Author's Note, Blog project, construction news, Creative Writing, Letters, original fiction.
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dear d: so have you been to construction news yet and seen
what i’m doing? i want to know if your writing process
is anything like mine. i want to know what you think
of what i’m doing. do you find it amusing and
interesting to look over someone’s papers, or would
you rather wait until the final project is in? i’m
thinking about what you’d think of all this, being a
writing teacher. i’d like to serve as an example for
some ninth grade writing class or something. a how to
struggle into competence blog.
love
jeanne

From: “oldbulllee”
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2006 17:46:59 GMT
Subject: Your Blog and Such

I am very much enjoying reading your blog.  You are possessed by genius, I think.  You have a curiosity that is like I’ve always imagined scientists’ to be.  In a way you shame me in this, because I have very little imagination and my curiosity is easily extinguished and has never ranged anywhere near the meanderings of yours.  So there’s a bit of envy there, but just a bit.

 

As far as your creative process—it’s just that—creative.  Your invention (the formation of ideas about characters and what you have them do) is the creative process, and it is unteachable. It is completely idiosyncratic.  Creative writing classes are a scam. All they really do is provide audience feedback (“This character is doing something not like her; this action is too plausible/implausible; you repeat this phrase/word/detail too much; the way you describe X in the same way all the time is annoying)—this is the depth/type of comment one expects in creative writing seminars.  Now that I think on it, your blog wants to do this—it’s your creative writing seminar, but you’ll probably get mostly cranks, instead of experienced fiction writers.  I could be wrong.

 

Genius finds its own way.  You’ve got to find yours.  I will say, though, taking your fans along for the ride is very interesting and quite endearing. You provide a view into your mind.  It’s very charming and very interesting.  Other men besides me will fall in love with you.

 

What you do on the blog is probably one of the best ways to gain insight into the process.  But it’s YOUR process.  All my limited experience with collaborative writing leads me to conclude that the product is incoherent and uninteresting.  I think what you ought to do is continue your blogging observations but be very skeptical of the advice you may receive from readers.

 

The kind of writing I teach is not creative in the least. It is essay writing/arguments. Thesis + Evidence + counterargument/refutation, dig?  And a large part of this includes reviewing grammar—how to write clear sentences. What you are doing is the stuff of (again) the “creative writing” seminar, which is really not my bag.  To teach one of these, you must be published in fiction, and even then, why bother, since these classes are the scam I point out.

 

I’m going back to the blog now . . . I’ll continue in a minute.

 

Damn!  That meteor video is FAR OUT!!!  It gives me the Primal Fear.  Love, D

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