I adore quotes, not entirely sure why, but I do. Today, while reading Christopher McGoldrick's blog, I decided to take a look at Velvet Verbosity's 100 word challenge. Now it's interesting in itself - and something I'll definitely have to take a stab at - but in last week's challenge post there was a lovely picture with a quote I found fascinating:
"There are very few innocent sentences in writing" ~David Foster Wallace.
It's true, the old writing rule of "write what you know" - and don't think I'm using "old" in a negative way, you should definitely stick to that advice - causes it in a way. A lot of writers I've talked to - but not all by any means - tend to get into after some major event. That (or those) major event(s) tend to come across in their writing along with other experiences that stick out in their mind.
We as people tend to remember the negatives more than the positives anyway.
But that doesn't mean that very few sentences in writing are happy, not by any means. Sentences can be happy but not innocent, and just because we tend to remember negatives more clearly than the positives doesn't mean we absolutely forget the positives. After all, one of the many definitions of innocent (and there are many) is "candid, or straightforward". There's meaning behind everything. I wouldn't go so far as to state - like many English teachers do to my dismay - that every word has been painstakingly thought out or even that there's concious subtext in everything you read, but there are implications behind the story. Writing is one of those things that lays someone out bare, even as they write something that isn't their story at all, it's there in the background. It's not a bad thing per se, it means that they know the emotions and thoughts behind what they're writing, but it's there all the same. And we'd all do well to think of that more.
This post has gone on for way longer than I wanted it to...
See you next time,