Free Writing – 3/12/11

“How do I know what I think until I say it?”

-E.M. Forster


I don’t know what I mean until I say it. That phrase actually suddenly makes sense to me. I never really dug it because my mind moves so fast, the notion of not knowing what I’m saying would make me crazy, but let’s be honest, when it comes to writing, I really don’t know what I’m going to say until I’ve said it.

As analytic as I am, rereading something I’ve written makes me realize I’ve said more than I’ve written, or more than I intended. Someone listened to me describe my stories and pointed out recurring themes that I’d never considered until they mentioned them. Themes? What am I, Hemingway? Foreshadowing that literally declared itself with me as a by-stander, metaphors in images or parallels in sub-plots that I literally never considered as even a notion, but once I realized it was there, I would never take it out. I really do believe the story tells itself. Almost makes the analysis of writing seem almost pretentious now – to search for the purpose or intent of a writer through their words, written when they were channeling something beyond themselves; the pursuit seems almost pointless. I guess that’s why I’m a writer, not a scholar.

Analyzing other writers’ works was interesting in a creative writing class given that I’ve usually found myself with such requirements only in lit classes and worse. I find it refreshing when the pursuit is acknowledged NOT to have a definitive answer. Such a pursuit when the professor believes there to be a right and wrong answer always made my teeth sweat.

Also, I realized I love the notion of short fiction. I have so many books in me that I overlook the artform. It deserves some merit, deserves my focus, despite my feeling drawn to tomes of unusual size. I want to shag Cary Elwes.


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