Robin Hawke


Deep Sigh (Mine)
October 9, 2011, 5:47 PM
Filed under: Quotations

“Dear Julie:
If I didn’t feel that there is some good in your story, I wouldn’t take the time to write a criticism of it. But there is some good in it, some points that make me feel that if you expend the effort (Look who’s talking about expending the effort, I couldn’t help thinking) you may well achieve your very worthy ambition.

First of all, you have an ear for cadence. Your sentences flow rather smoothly, and the continuity of your paragraphs is quite good.

Secondly, your imagery is sharp and clear-cut. I could smell that dank, rat-infested attic and I was more than a little in love with your pretty heroine by the time she emerged from her third paragraph. Furthermore, you occasionally achieve poetic effects which are pleasing.

But, my darling niece, your villains have nothing but venom in their souls, and your sympathetic characters are ready to step right off into Paradise without one spot to tarnish their purity. People aren’t like that, Julie. Take a look around you.

Again, all your colors, your moods, your nusances, are essentially feminine, and it just doesn’t ring true to be told that a man is responsible for them. No, Julie, it will be a long time before you speak and think and feel like an anguished old German musician of eighty!

And, after all, what do you know about the problems of musical composition, or the life of an impoverised German laborer such as the landlord in his nineteenth-century environment? And how much do you know about sadism and brutality?

I must talk to you about any number of points. When you get home from school tomorrow, I shall have some recommendations to make; also some assignments. I am quite excited. It well may be that I have the making of a future writer in my hands.
Uncle Haskell”

―Irene Hunt, from Up a Road Slowly


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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Are you self-flagellating, like me, and going for NaNo? 😀

Comment by Tracy Hutchinson

My jury of one is still out. I’m not worried about the word count…I am worried about writing a month of dreck and never wanting to edit it!

Do you have experience with NaNo?
Robin

Comment by Robin Hawke




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