July 1, 2013
“Mister Steinbeck,” I said, “I’ve been trying to practice what you said about not re-writing on that first draft for the past few weeks. What’s on the paper isn’t as pretty as I’d like to see, but the story is coming together so fast I’m having a difficult time getting it down.”
“It’s John, Sonny. Never did go much for formality. What do you mean it’s not pretty?”
“I have misspelled words, missing action and speech tags. Sometimes I know a beat should be there for balance and flow. I type BEAT in caps and fly on with the narrative or dialogue.
“Don’t worry about it. You’ll fix all those things the next time around, or the next.”
“Or the next?”
He laughed. “That, too.”
“I hope you have more advice for me.”
“Hmmmm.” He pursed his lips. Let’s see. . . How about this? Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.”
“Thank you.” Now who should that one person audience be?
Until next time, that’s it from The Storyman ….