Category: armored prose

Notes from the Troglodytes to a Memoirist

Original Message—a writer who was frustrated with the process—writing in longhand for 30 minutes, then typing it into the computer—wrote us this note. The text is about saving time. The subtext questions the process and hints about getting a medal for sitting down and writing for 30 minutes. Buried in the subtext is a shout: What do I get out of it? We reprinted the message, followed by an answer. From: Student Memoir Writer To: Jack Remick; Robert Ray Subject: hand writing then retyping It takes me the same amount of time to retype handwritten stuff into the computer as it takes me to hand write in the first place.  Or even longer.  And it is less fun.  Slows me down.  How do you guys deal with that?  How much do you manage to write daily?  Do you retype everything that you write by hand into the computer? Thanks, Student Memoir Writer Dear Student Memoir Writer: Time isn’t the big thing in writing. Depth is. We encourage writers to write by hand because the action connects them to the body. What, you ask, doesn’t the computer connect you to the body too? The computer connects your eyes to the screen. It connects your fingers to the keyboard. It gives you a feeling of power and control. But look at the apparatus for writing on a computer— screen, keyboard, software,...

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Going Cosmic with Timed Writing

Going Cosmic–The Power of Writing Practice ©2011 By Jack Remick & Robert J. Ray Writing practice, writing under the clock, frees you from the clutches of the infernal ghost in the culture machine – the editor. The editor, wrapped in rules and logic, dresses up like mom, and dad, and the third grade teacher who taught you to dot your I’s and cross your T’s, and begin every sentence with a capital letter. The editor, logic posing as a rocket scientist  puts astronauts on the moon, builds atomic bombs, creates architectural marvels out of steel and concrete and glass – but the editor cannot open the doorway to the creative unconscious. Helpless in the clutches of the ghost in the culture machine, the language dies a cold, cold death. The dead language is all around us. It is around us in Pentagon obfu-speak, it is around us in oprahesque-tele-babble, it is around us in politico-pseudo-psycho chatter, it is around us in the punchless wonders of thickly paragraphed novels marching over the edge of the world like literary lemmings – weak verb, soft noun, zero conflict, washed out, pale skinned three-legged lemmings. With writing practice, writing under the clock, you shoulder the dead language aside to discover the energy of your creative powers. The dead language: “He slipped out of the room to look for the clock, and by his...

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How a good writer can write better

If you want to write better, keep reading. If you’re happy writing Armored Prose, ride your computer mouse somewhere else. Writing is sacred ground. Don’t mess around. To write better, you must practice. Push yourself, write every day, using a timer, pen, paper, pencil, laptop, desktop, or PDA. If you want to write better faster, focus on your verbs.

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Kerouac’s Essentials of Spontaneous Prose

Epilogue Jack Kerouac’s Essentials of Spontaneous Prose. Method  No periods separating sentence-structures already arbitrarily riddled by false colons and timid usually needless commas—but the vigorous space dash separating rhetorical breathing (as jazz musician drawing breath between outblown phrases)—“measured pauses which are the essentials of our speech”—“divisions of the sounds we hear”—“time and how to note it down.” (William Carlos Williams) 1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy 2. Submissive to everything, open, listening 3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house 4. Be in love with yr life 5. Something that you feel will find its own form 6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind 7. Blow as deep as you want to blow 8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind 9. The unspeakable visions of the individual 10. No time for poetry but exactly what is 11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest 12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you 13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition 14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time 15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog 16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye 17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself 18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea 19. Accept loss forever 20. Believe in the...

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Who Needs It?

Who needs another writing blog? An example: Writer  1: I’ve got it all written down… in my head….: After a thousand sleepless nights spent plotting and replotting novels, after talking for a thousand hours about writing, after friends have said ‘what a neat idea, you should write a novel’, Writer 1 enrolls in a writing class. “What are you working on?” we ask. “I have six novels.” “How many pages?” “Uh… I haven’t actually written anything yet. I have them outlined in my head.” “Who’s your Antagonist?” “Antagonist?” “You know? The bad guy?” “Antagonist? Uh…Well…There aren’t any bad guys in my book. I want to write nice novels…” “Okay. Nice.” “A question? “Shoot.” “How do I get an agent?” This writer needs B&J’s Blog. How do we get this writer on track? Develop the Antagonist first, we say. If you’re writing a detective novel, your sleuth doesn’t have anything to do until the killer kills or the kidnapper snatches the woman. If you’re writing a genre novel make a list of characters and fill in their lives with backstory. Spend some time on the page writing about writing. But…don’t talk about it anymore. Writers write. Go to Louisa’s. Sit down with other writers. Write the backstory on your Antagonist. Push the essential elements of the craft: Character, Action, Dialogue, Setting, Objects. Write now. Get it on the page. Now....

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Copyright & Excerpts

©2010-2017 Jack Remick, Robert J. Ray. All rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including text and images, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Short excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray and "Bob and Jacks Writing Blog" with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.