Thursday, August 7, 2008

Writing for Writers #10

I just read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, a memoir that he blinked out one letter at a time to a speech therapist who transcribed his words. First Bauby would memorize each paragraph, then dictate it. And presumably as a result, the memoir reads as if it doesn't have a spare word in it. So try this:

Write a paragraph in your head, really crafting it, and memorizing it, before writing it down.

And then try this:

Write a paragraph in your head and memorize it, but instead of writing it down yourself, dictate it to a trusted scribe.

It seems to me both acts, writing and editing in your head, and inviting an audience into the process, might lead to some interesting alterations in your usual ways (unless those are your usual ways, naturally).