martes, marzo 23, 2010

"Padding" versus Original Writing

For all my writer friends (and those friends that would like to become writers), some thought by Lewis Carroll, from his Preface to Sylvie and Bruno well worth thinking about:

I am telling all this, in no spirit of egoism, but because I really believe that some of my readers will be interested in these details of the 'genesis' of a book, which looks so
simple and straight-forward a matter, when completed, that they might suppose it to have been written straight off, page by page, as one would write a letter, beginning at the beginning; and ending at the end.

It is, no doubt, possible to write a story in that way: and, if it be not vanity to say so, I believe that I could, myself,--if I were in the unfortunate position (for I do hold it to be a real misfortune) of being obliged to produce a given amount of fiction in a given time,--that I could 'fulfil my task,' and produce my 'tale of bricks,' as other slaves have done. One thing, at any rate, I could guarantee as to the story so produced--that it should be utterly commonplace, should contain no new ideas whatever, and should be very very weary reading!

This species of literature has received the very appropriate name of 'padding' which might fitly be defined as 'that which all can write and none can read.'

As I try to avoid padding, I hope I can produce something original.

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