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Roads & Kingdoms

Roads & Kingdoms

Courtkneecap - Freestyle Writing 4 Reasons You Should Never Write Alone Imagine the quintessential writer: introverted, glasses, coffee in hand, sitting alone at a small desk, while poking their fingers on a keyboard. We all have preconceived notions as to what being a writer looks like, but whatever your idea of a writer, I can bet that one trait is uniform across the board. You probably imagine your writer alone, the Stephen King type, secluded, perhaps in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Interestingly enough, being a writer alone is nearly impossible, and after being part of a writers group for almost a year, I’ve learned I could never do it alone. Why You Shouldn’t Write Alone Great writing is done in community, and besides having more great friends, there are four major benefits to not being a writer alone: 1. Editing is hard. Regardless of how much you know about spelling, subject-verb agreement, or colons, all writers make mistakes. Editors can be extremely expensive. 2. There’s something about commiserating that feels so great. 3. 4. Don’t write alone.

Sacred Carnality This essay is drawn from “The Art of Memoir,” by Mary Karr, published by HarperCollins. My holy of holies is the human body —Anton Chekhov, May, 1888 Carnality sits at the root of the show-don’t-tell edict that every writing teacher harps on all the time, because it works. By carnal, I mean, Can you apprehend it through the five senses? In writing a scene, you must help the reader employ smell and taste and touch as well as image and noise. The more carnal a writer’s nature, the better she’ll be at this, and there are subcategories according to the senses. My Texas-oil-worker daddy introduced me as a kid to the raconteur’s need for physical evidence when he told me a story about selling fake moonshine to some city boys. Bull dookey, I said. “You don’t believe me?” My mouth slung itself open. It’s sad how long I believed stories based on arbitrary physical objects that my daddy fished out from his past and plunked down into my present, like that shirt.

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