Writers’ Original Sin

Helga’s Post # 107:

Many years ago, the most valuable advice to writers ever was coined: ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’. Kudos to Mr. Shakespeare. Much later, Mark Twain echoed his sentiment with a clever pun of his own, ‘If I had more time I would write a shorter letter.’

Mr. Hemingway, too, offers good advice: ‘It wasn’t by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics’.

Looking back at my previous 106 posts, these words resonate. I realize just how relevant this advice is, how much Messrs. Shakespeare, Twain and Hemingway have a point. Like countless others, I am an offender of the writers’ Original Sin: Long-windedness. With this in mind, I intend to be brief today and I hope in future. Not by skimping on content, but by avoiding flowery language (aka verbal diarrhea) to get to the point sooner and without pointless repetition. I hope this will demonstrate my respect for my followers.

Some good news: I have found my writer’s corner. A physical corner that is. A lovely shady spot outside the house, looking at the perennial blue sky of the desert, shielded from the sun so that I can see my screen. It inspires me. And it’s already paid dividends: I am making progress on my new novel.

Chapter Three almost done. This last chapter thanks to an image I came across today at the local Arts Festival. A confusing, even disturbing image, titled ‘Creation’, painted on an oversized canvas. Briefly, it showed two huge, pale naked figures, one male and the other female, leaning towards the center of the painting, their lips meeting in a kiss. The female figure showed a demonic creature emerging from her vagina (supposedly Satan), while the male seemed undisturbed, unable to resist temptation. The background showed a rendering of paradise on one side, damnation on the other.

3106075915_53bb8efc29_z1A great image of a somewhat bizarre story. Especially as the blame falls squarely on the woman’s shoulders (or loins). The forbidden fruit Eve offered that Adam was unable to resist. Ever since, Adam’s descendants have fallen into the same trap. Here again, I resort to Mark Twain when he observed ‘The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become’.

Clever man. He likely knew.

Eureka! What a great story. It will surely find its way into my novel, played out in the twenty-first century.

Without further ado, I am signing off early, to make sure my Adam and Eve are getting their dues.

Hope to see you in a week. Until then, happy writing to all.


4 thoughts on “Writers’ Original Sin

  1. Great post Helga! Yes, shorter is better. And harder to write. So glad you’re making progress — Chapter 3! Congratulations! And by the way, I always thought Eve got a bad rap on that apple thing.

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