“These students today. Some of them say to me, Why do we have to do work here professor? Can’t we just feel this?” Dr. Miller said. Two months ago, I sat in a class listening to Dr. Calvin Miller- author, poet, teacher, and pastor. Perhaps his most popular work is The Singer, a poetic allegory of the gospel. He taught about what needs to be done to make writing gleam. His message was captivating, reading us stories accentuating the keys to successful writing.
His words about working in writing have started to sink in. To really make writing stand out, I cannot just sit down and feel it. I need a palette of colors, words, to study and know. I need to learn how they blend together and complement each other. I need to understand the background and environment I am creating/explaining. I need to analyze my pieces and see how to take a key theme or idea in the beginning and weave that through the background fabric of the piece. Is it dark in a scene? obscure? rainy? bright?
How can I take my canvas and so that wherever the reader looks, he may feel that darkness that has made me stumble or be gripped by the hope that has compelled me on?
The thoughts I have to do this are not of abandoning the thoughts, inspirations, etc. that sometimes pull me (and many others) from sleep in the dark, but of harnessing them and working more diligently to understand their environments. By outlining a piece I plan to write, rather than just diving in with no firm plan (*sigh* work) I may be able to draw out and more explicitly refer to certain themes. By finding or more clearly understanding the theme(s) I can then look up words associated to those in a thesaurus and better express themes, moods, etc. Each may have a slightly different hue, and this will help me to better find the right one for the work.
Any other ideas? Hopefully more from me to come.
Learning to write,
Larry

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