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Powerful Writing
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Barbara Klaser of Mystery of a Shrinking Violet awarded me the Shameless Lion Award. She explains that the award originated with Seamus Kearney of Shameless Words and the Shameless Lion Writing Circle, who wrote:

“Those people I’ve given this award to are encouraged to post it on their own blogs; list three things they believe are necessary for good, powerful writing; and then pass the award on to the five blogs they want to honour, who in turn pass it on to five others, etc etc. Let’s send a roar through the blogosphere!” (read award details here)

What three things do I find important?

Good writing must be rooted in and draw its nourishment from truth. This doesn't mean it needs to lecture us or convince us of the author's wisdom. Writing doesn't need to proclaim some great Truth. Small truths are important too. The writer does not need to throw away invention in favor of reportage. Very often the truth is more appealing when much embroidered. But if writing is not basically truthful, why should anyone care about it?

Writers can only write what's in their own heads. However, they need to imagine what things look like through other eyes, in the light of different times, places and circumstances. Writing that's obviously all about the writer isn't very compelling.

From a technical standpoint, the writer's main task is simply to transmit ideas clearly to readers. Words should serve ideas, illuminate them, describe them. Ideas can't be built by piling up words. Words for the sake of words don't interest me. Clarity requires that the writer's thoughts have been put into order before the words begin to flow. Trying to patch up confused ideas with pretty words doesn't work.

It's really impossible for me to pick and choose amongst the many blogs I read. Here are some excellent bloggers who write powerfully about matters large and small:

Mark Terry at This Writing Life
netta at sussuration
rhubarb at We are what we do repeatedly. Excellence, then, is not a single act but a habit
Maggie at Electric Grandmother
Reenie at Reenie's Reach
Sue at My Incredibly Unremarkable Life

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