There’s the ability of the tongue to say too much in everyday conversation, that one is embarrassed by the end of it. But with an editor, the writer who says too much, is going to have his words cut down markedly, where necessary. There isn’t usually an editor for conversations, though, where one can’t take things back or cut them out. Words can sort of linger in the air…and depending on who’s there and if they don’t like it, the atmosphere can come down like a lead balloon. With an editor, there is a way to cut down on extraneous material and save unnecessary embarrassments. Because readers, like listeners, have ears, too.
The humble writer or artist and filmmaker for that matter, may shy away from publicity or at least attempt to. But, underneath, there may be a liking to the question, what will he do next? Will it be as good or better than the last thing they made? That’s when a writer and artist gets a little inkling they have made it. But what will be next? A widely received disappointment? After the artist has gained acceptance?
The writer and the artist are names that can be used interchangeably, in terms of function– the purpose is to create using kinds of media and materials–and in style–to ‘stylize’ and place, for an effect, which can include journalism, in terms of how elements of art are embedded in journalism, such as flow. Both can change style in a period of their vocation/career, but this can be normal to writers and artists who can naturally be spontaneous, experimental and adventurous.Continue reading “The art reflected on is worth studying”
Styles can cross over into a hybrid style. It’s not only science that has hybrids. It’s languages as well. In my case, the English language, as a writer of English. I have lamented about some elements of my “Later style” and celebrated the style of the “Early” days, but when coming to the present day style, I’ve noticed it’s really a hybrid style. I’m recapturing again the early style, but the “Later style” has left traces as well. It’s about consciously applying the early style, but I still instinctively paint in the “Later style” as that is what I have been doing for about twenty years.
It’s with reluctance that I put away some stories. Something about them just won’t go. It’s not the writing quality, but the sense that there was unfinished business. Something was left undone or unhinged. One can’t go back, of course, but the slight pain one feels is regret. It happens once or twice, on the big stories. But this post is saying: I’m putting it to death and down to experience.
Stories have a habit of mushrooming and expanding out, which one article can’t handle. The follow-up article continues the story.Continue reading “Follow-up articles”
Just say one wanted to write something for a monthly, with sixteen pages in between it’s covers. Well, sixteen is not much, I must say. Where would someone come in there, if one wanted something published every month, as a freelancer and not a staff writer?Continue reading “Reality and fantasy”
I don’t really enjoy the the kind of journalism one must do in reporting on a real life story of currency. But I like researching things that require time, effort, and don’t depend on timeliness. Like researching the films from 1965, but with a kind of ‘scientific’ aim in mind. I do see, however, that investigative reporting is crucial to an informed society when it’s done well and accurately.
Should one write journalistic style articles or other, more simpler, beautifully flowing ones? I asked myself this and came up with this: that if approaching a newspaper, to write for them, I just wouldn’t care about investigating the details on real life stories anymore, so I wouldn’t. But would love to keep on with the simpler style for work, that’s well-rounded, perhaps art-full even.
It’s always nice to be told you’re doing a good job, even when it could have better.
There is a time and place for a longer article. I reckon it’s the controversial one–the “meaty issue” of the day needs more space as it seems more important.
On having written newspaper articles, the appropriate thing is “journalistic style”: punchy, sharp and to the point which is what newspaper articles should be. But two weeks ago I thought I’d never write that way again.Continue reading “Journalistic style”
What I have learnt from reflecting on an article about a controversial issue, is to find the ‘cog that turns the wheel’ in the issue; investigate the salient point. It will make for a weightier article and get to the bottom of the issue, which the readers deserve.
Writing can be an instinctual process. Sometimes, I may not be thinking too much about what gets put down on paper or how my words are looking on the computer screen. The writing can get ahead of me.Continue reading “Watch your language”
The purpose to write may not be planned, but in their quest, the writer may submit to places they never thought they would. When this happened to me, I was worried that I wouldn’t get paid a greater sum. The publication looked a little obscure and unknown from where I stood. But in the words of a wise old mother, literally giving a piece to someone, that may be discarded by others, is a volunteering kindness.
The surface of my review, written in 2000, looked fine, and sounded good. But then I saw flaws and blemishes and I should have known better. It’s like the coach ironing out any deficiencies in an otherwise acceptable even good performance. On the looks of things, my review appeared good, but looking closer, there were things to improve on. However, I’m forgiven, and can only get better.
Reviewing is a popular genre, many people do it these days because they can, with the availability of the world wide web at their disposal. Back in the day, it was left to a select few. In this climate where one can post a review at leisure, one can write about any kind of film they like, depending on the website’s policy. This is what I did, but mostly I did the recent films. If you’re reasonably serious about doing it properly, it’s a better look to review what’s relevant now in the marketplace. Keep things up to date. As well as review the older stuff. For me, these days is more like a review here or there at leisure…while I sift through the trailers to see what’s worth watching.
Sometimes the only purpose one writes about something is simply to write. One enjoys writing and one wants to write it. One doesn’t worry about the financial compensation (if any for that matter). One doesn’t worry about anything more than writing something that one can be proud of when it’s published. The only satisfaction is in the process of writing and the fact it got published so others can read it. It’s all quite lovely, really; and devoid of particular agendas.
In the previous post, I called Dinner at Eight a sheer delight, but I never use the word delightful in everyday speech. A guy I volunteered for once said he never used the word delightful in everyday speech, in response to me reading the word from a script in a segment for a radio show. I actually said the word delightful because I was reading from, not speaking to. For me, the word delightful has its uses in reading from and in writing, but not everyday speaking. One’s formal, the other’s not. One is presentation, the other is relaxed. Both forums, I think, require a difference in approach. One is like acting, the other is natural. These are the mediums we use.
When an article is merely interesting. If its my article, I deny it. Because I believe, rightly or wrongly, that articles need to be more than interesting. But there are two types of interesting which sort of makes up for it. A stimulating interesting in that one is always engaged in the article, that while it doesn’t jump off the page or screen, is always stimulating. And a dull interesting, in that the way it’s done isn’t that imaginative, but is always readable.
For me, when it comes to reading a piece, the best effect is when I’m intrigued and stimulated by the writing. From beginning to end, the piece falls into place nicely and sits well. The reader, that’s me, senses the piece is drawing one in, rather than away. How would one do that, as a writer? I think one must make it always interesting, with facts, color and imagination, descriptive prose, and good ideas, producing “the effect” on the reader.
Have you ever had the feeling a piece of writing goes on and on, especially in the middle, when it seems the writer is searching for words to fill in space? Words with empty spaces. Hardly inventive and arousing. Less than simulating. Should be overcome with a dose of ‘color’ and factual information to spice things up.
“States” could have been “suggests”, “odd one out” should have been “unmarried”, “among them” could have been edited out. Some of the minor pitfalls of my early work. Some words I may have used thoughtlessly yet there was a better word that I could have used, to better reflect the meaning and the overused words could have been expunged. The minor pains of my early writing. But carefully measure the text so it better reflects the meaning.
A beautiful structure is one of the results of my early work.Continue reading “Beautiful structure”
It’s the little things in articles that appear to show that the author or writer is really human amidst a mix of words.Continue reading “Being human”
What if a writer promised a certain product to a publisher, presumably knowing what he was doing, but they ended up with something else? What’s going on?Continue reading “The hollow man”
Reading back at one of my old articles again…A little bleat about it if you don’t mind. A reader of my best of the year section, back in 1998, mentioned I shouldn’t have included a certain 1997 R-rated action film, because it was R-rated. Go figure on that one; I must have been fourteen (and I’m sure the person thought that of my mentality, not that I’m demeaning any fourteen-year-old’s, far from it.).Continue reading “Sometimes, the little things don’t count”
Just when the author seemed to have put his foot in it, the subsequent sentences doesn’t confirm that, but the context brings out more definition and clarity. And it sounds just right.Continue reading “Just when it seemed …”
I thought I had a good if not great idea for a devotion based on my personal experience, but on writing it, I have second thoughts. Midway through, it doesn’t sound like the kind of thing they would publish. The publisher I had been thinking of sending it to, probably wouldn’t take it. The tone, the subject wasn’t right. But as always, it could be of use somewhere else. Another thought I had was to entirely transform the devotion with a new beginning and add the stuff I have been writing at the end. This may work, I thought. And it may be at least worthy of a submission to this particular publisher. Onward!
There’s nothing like an older article one has done to clarify where one stands on the topic at hand. One might find that one doesn’t hold that point of view anymore. It may be a memory of a distant past. This means one can go through life and come to a view that was different yesteryear. For me, I had taken a moderate view between two values, but one of those, eventually, had to give way.
When I started regularly writing film articles (or short pieces), my focus was on the films itself–or what was in it and what they were about. Sometimes I took an angle on that, like what did I have to say about screen violence, for example. They were regular, ordinary issues or matters about film. In 1998, I note a change, looking back.Continue reading “Transcendence”
in 1999, I wrote a short piece that was implicitly about truth but even I, the writer of that article, found myself caught between truth and experience.Continue reading “Truth and experience”
I happened to be reading a film reference book, back in ’98, which defined movie terminology, such as “post-modernism”. This particular term, post-modernism, was especially interesting, as it seemed relevant to a few films I had been watching at the time.Continue reading “Inspired to write”
Sometimes, like anyone else, a writer can become full of themselves with a sense they are doing really good, with a sweet sense of pride.Continue reading “Grounded”
Review your work at your own peril or at your delight.