Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hawthorne finishes today's writing quotes

"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop."
– Vita Sackville-West

"Words -- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them."
– Nathaniel Hawthorne

From The Creative Screenwriting Weekly Newsletter


Freida Bee, MD said...

I've been feeling that first one a lot lately. I readily embrace it when it comes to shorter works, but for longer works, I get stuck on it. I've written something, ok. It's when I come back to it, that I notice it no longer accurately described where I'm at then, which is where I abandon the old to just start over.

Cormac Brown said...


I've said it before and I'll say it again: writing is like surfing in that you have to ride the wave until it runs out.

Stay with what you are doing as long as you can or until the peters runs out. If you are writing anything greater than five hundred words and you feel yourself constrained for time (you are a parent and wife, so this is a given), try condensing the beats into paragraphs so that you know which direction your story is heading. This way whenever you resume where you left off, it will be easier to regain that momentum and you will remember all the nuances that made it such a solid concept to begin with.

lakeviewer said...

Hawthorne gets my vote. And to think that he gave us a thoroughly modern woman in Esther Prinne. The man was ahead of his times.

Cormac Brown said...


Absolutely, he was some seventy years ahead. I'm doing a modern variation of "The Scarlet Letter," literally as I type this.