The Novelry Blog

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Clean, Good Writing. Jul 26, 2020

It is a fine thing, growing older, as a writer. One has experience to draw upon, of people and all their animal behaviour, but also where to draw the line. Where to end the sentence. Enough said. Maybe we speak to each other in shorthand as we get older. There is the unspoken ellipsis that follows a word or a phrase, which draws on a hinterland of colourful experience. The Marquee Tent.... And so many moments come to mind for both the user of the word and the recipient. One develops a reticence to say more. Or maybe much.

Writers develop over time. No bad thing maybe that you weren't published at nineteen. I was struck this week by the changes in the work of the author Norman Mailer (1923-2007).  Over time, he wrote leaner and cleaner. (I see a similar thing in Orwell's work, the same with Graham Greene. Happy the young writer who cracks it early.)

In Normal Mailer's novel, Barbary Shore (1951) one is struck by the coddy language. It's so over-written...

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