Category: how to read like a writer

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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A Tribute to Sydney Pollack

When we taught in the UW Screenwriting Program, we were lucky enough to spend a Saturday with the late Syndey Pollack. Pollack, at an invitation from his good friend Stewart Stern, flew himself up from LA in his own Lear Jet to make himself available as a resource to budding UW scriptwriters. Sydney Pollack is a director-producer, an LA guy who owns his own production company. One of his early movies was They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) One of his big money-makers was Out of Africa (director-producer, 1986). He directed Three Days of the Condor (1975). He produced and directed Absence of Malice (1981), White Palace (1990), Dead Again (1991), and two dozen others. His production company produced Sense and Sensibility. The format of the six-hour session at the UW was Q&A. Some of the A’s stretched out, burgeoning with promise, to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes. The depth was astounding. So was the clarity. Here are some notes and a write-up of that Saturday meeting that we later used in our fiction—novel, short story—classes. Three lessons from Sydney Pollack that might be helpful for your fiction: 1. Template. When Pollack reads a first draft script, he asks a simple question: What is the story? He’s looking for a template, a simple thematic pattern that he can use to gauge each character, each scene, each setting, each...

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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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Zen Poetics–The Art of Reading a Poem

©1999 By Jack Remick and Robert J Ray Read each line below aloud. Take your time. Freedom without discipline is chaos Energy is language working through you Patience is killing your ego Patience and energy equal discipline Energy and discipline equal power Power and strength equal grace Grace is the goal of our writing. Copy those lines. Use your hand, your fingers, your wrist, your brain. Circle the words that repeat. Grab the words. Pull them close. Slow down. Show some patience. Look at your finger. Zen Poetics Twists your Finger This is the Zen of a poem – learn how to wait. Patience is a finger puzzle – The harder you try to get out of it, the tighter it gets. Patience is simple. It is the itch under the skin before you know you want to scratch. The goal of a poem is to find a primitive language that lets the poet transform emotion into image. A poem has no language. The poet uses English or Chinese approximates to get to the emotion. Image is pre-linguistic. Before the image there is emotion. The emotion comes, then we find language to cover it. We cover the emotion with image. Write the emotion. Emotion evokes image. Image is covered with language, but language is not the ideal expression for the image. The ideal language of a poem is a...

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©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.