Sunday Quote:Flaubert on Precision

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
-Gustave Flaubert

Most days, I can truly relate to this quote. The only purity (or illusion of purity) an idea ever attains is in the writer's mind. Once she begins committing it to paper, the possibility of perfection becomes nonexistent.

When we write, we're trying to bring down the moon with mere arrows. We may never reach our quarry, but the attempt's a noble effort.

Besides, no one else can read the illusions of perfection we keep locked up in our heads. If we don't at least try to get them down on paper, we're doomed to end up like this poor fellow from my favorite (rude) e-card site, (if you click through, prepare to be offended. And amused, most likely).


Joni Rodgers said…
Right on.

(And I do love someecards. Can't help myself.)
Dorothy Hagan said…
Good Morning, ladies.

Would you pardon me if I ask a very amateur question? How in the world do you stay focused and productive when life around you keeps swirling? I can't keep blaming my mother's illness when if it weren't that, it would be something else. Life doesn't stand still.

But I get so out of touch with my writing, can't remember characters kids' names, etc., then I have to spend so much time rereading pages and pages...

Any tips for consistency?

Many thanks for any wisdom...
I keep index cards (and lately, a little spread sheet, since the WIP has more than the usual amount of characters) detailing characters' names, eye/hair color, age, and relationships. I also keep a calendar for the book so I can keep track of dates, days of weeks of events, and passage of time.

But with your mom seriously ill, you have to expect a lot of distraction. My advice: just keep plugging when you're able. It's a great escape/stress reliever, for one thing. And even if it's kind of a mess, you can always clean it up later, when your focus is better.


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