Sunday, July 29, 2012

Letter Envy

"The admirable is inexplicable." - Ursula K. LeGuin

Each time I read a great book, I loose confidence in my own abilities as a writer. The waxing and waning of this confidence serves as the main source of conflict in my narrative as “writer.” I frequently criticize the amount of detail provided in my own exposition, yet this bores me in writers who do this well. It is as though their pen become the lens of a well-focused camera and takes the reader through the microcosmic -- everything is pulled into full, overwhelming focus. Time suspends in the lyrical flow of their patient storytelling but in reading this skilled display of their obvious craft, I find my mind drifts constantly. I have difficulty in imagining what they so carefully describe because I find it too specific.

Still, the envy. It is a mysterious paradox.

‘Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.’ - Annie Dillard

{Artwork by Tomasz Alen Kopera}


  1. I can't stand too detailed descriptions. They end up as just words on the page, and I skim over them to the next bit. Too specific, exactly. It's kind of like, you had to actually BE there.

  2. That's true, Terry. I usually end up creating some picture in my imagination anyway, as to what is being described in all of those words & all those details get ignored if they don't fit into what I am envisioning. Kind of selfish perhaps but that's how it is.

    Thanks for commenting!