Raymond Carver

First draft advice for you (and for me)…

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and… less is clearly more. Stronger, sharper…

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7 thoughts on “Raymond Carver

  1. Great post. While the word processor has pretty much ended composing in longhand, it probably is still the best method for organizing thought. When “blocked” I will print out the pages leading to the snag, grab a pen and legal pad and move far away from the electronic jungle that my personal space has morphed into. For me, gazing at a yellow sheet of ruled paper is somehow less intimidating than staring at a monitor screen.

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    • As strange as it may be, I usually start with an ending in mind, assemble the characters and then choose a starting point and ask them to tell me how they got from point A to point B. I shoot for a 200 page minimum first draft and once the story has come together in rough form, mostly in the computer but some on legal pad or in scribbled notes, it becomes a first draft. From that point on all the rewrites and changes are in the computer. The rewrites will add to the page count, in one case just over 100

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  2. longhand was my love this past summer. i wrote several letters and short stories. Now the book i have is around 130 pages of assorted material. This post describes the horrible truth of writing!

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  3. Nice example. But isn’t it a shame that less is more, when one so dearly loves to write and write and write? I was heart-broken as a youngster when I first heard the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words”!

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  4. And, rixlibris, there are still plenty of us, I’m sure, who write portions of stories in longhand as they compose drafts and story bits. I do. Although, many youth in America these days aren’t even being taught to write in longhand. They, certainly, will be all about the computer writing. I can’t imagine not learning to use cursive. As a youngster, I was fascinated by that process — stringing letters together to make words, etc. — by my own handwriting.

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