I’ve a new essay up over at the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s monthly online column. Have a look, and then read some of the other writers’ essays too. The QWF Writes column “provides an arena for writers to share and discuss ideas, experiences and opinions relevant to our unique writing community,” but pretty much all of the posts are relevant to the wider writing world as well, not just to Quebec writers.
Like bread dough, my writing seems to require time to rise in a warm, draft-free place. The long proofing period is necessary; turn up the heat to hurry the rising, or don’t leave it long enough, and I get a stodgy, dense loaf.
Under ideal conditions—solitude, free time and excitement about what I’m writing—the words pour forth quickly. It’s exhilarating. But normally, I write when I can. I like to have control over an essay or story as it forms, and I edit as I write, considering each sentence as I put it to paper—does it say what I want it to say, or does it imply something else? I read what I’ve written aloud—does it have the right rhythm? Is my translation of Vietnamese dialogue as true to the original as possible? Does it sound natural?
The second proofing of the dough is as important as the first. Even…
View original post 410 more words