Sunday, February 14, 2010

Writing Quotes and I don't see eye to eye, with James Baldwin

These quotes came from The Creative Screenwriting Weekly Newsletter.

"One writes out of one thing only -- one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from the experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give."
- James Baldwin

I politely disagree. One writes based on one's own experience, but a good or great writer won't limit themselves to their own experiences only. If you see things from only your point of view as a writer, well...

The folks at Creative Screenwriting rightly added this quote right after, to serve as a counter-point-

"The good writer seems to be writing about himself, but has his eye always on that thread of the Universe which runs through himself and all things."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Paul D. Brazill said...

Waldo! That name always reminds me of Mr Magoo. However, he was right and Baldwin was wrong.

Cormac Brown said...

Paulie Decibels,

Ralph always reminds me of "The Honeymooner's" Kramden, and Waldo always seems to be a bespectacled-character, with the exception of Redford's "The Great Waldo Pepper."

I don't want to say James Baldwin was necessarily wrong, as he was just misguided on that day. Can you imagine the lives we would have to lead, if we applied that quote to crime fiction???

okjimm said...

Frankly..... I think they are expressing about the same sentiment. there was a almost hundred year gap in their productive writing periods.

ie. I have seen the last hint of life in a man's eyes in that fraction of a second before it is gone. That single experience is a thread of universe that will always run through me.

Randal Graves said...

I am always right and you are always wrong. Sheesh.

Cormac Brown said...


You're too deep for my tired mind.

"I am always right and you are always wrong. Sheesh."


Uh, when did we get married? Because it sounds suspiciously like we're married.