Re: ATTN JMS: Quick One About How You Write

 Posted on 12/21/2005 by to

Brent F. Osgood wrote:
> When writing, do you tend to visualize the scenes/pages before/as you
> write? That is, do you use mental images to help shape the words, or is
> it purely a "written" thing?
> Does your answer change depending on what you're writing?
> I asked David Foster Wallace that and he said he didn't have use mental
> images as he wrote, that it was pretty much in his head as words and
> that's how it came out. I asked him because he did a reading where he
> previewed "Incarnations of Burned Children" and it painted such a
> picture in my head it was like I was creating the movie as I listened.
> Since you work in more visual media (or in tandem with them), I wondered
> if it made a difference.
> -Brent

Mark Twain said you should never begin writing something until you have
finished it to your satisfaction. So that's what I try to do. I close
my eyes and see every scene, every line, until it's clear. If I hit a
roadblock, I back up and go another way until the whole thing goes
smoothly. Only then do I sit down to write out what I've now seen.

For me it works...for somebody else, it could be the worst thing in the