Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Would You Describe "Writing"?

I am currently reading the book, Atonement by Ian McEwan. Although only on the second chapter, I am finding that I really enjoy the book -- particularly because the beginning portrays a young girl falling in love with writing.

The first chapter focuses on the reader getting to know little Briony and her love for writing. As she works on her first serious play, Briony marvels at the delights writing does for her.

I find these parts most enjoyable to read because I can relate. I remember growing up and letting my imagination run wild when a pen and piece of paper were in my hand. It was fun and exciting to create new characters and having complete control over their actions.

I think Ian McEwan does an incredible job putting the excitement of writing into words with the following passage from the book:
She was on course now, and had found satisfaction on other levels; writing stories not only involved secrecy, it also gave her all the pleasure of miniaturization. A world could be made in five pages, and one that was more pleasing than a model farm. The childhood of a spoiled prince could be framed within half a page, a moonlit dash through sleepy villages was one rhythmically emphatic sentence, falling in love could be achieved in a single word -- a glance.

The pages of a recently finished story seemed to vibrate in her hand with all the life they contained. Her passion for tidiness was also satisfied, for an unruly world could be made just so. A crisis in a heroine's life could be made to coincide with hailstones, gales and thunder, whereas nuptials were generally blessed with good light and soft breezes. A love of order also shaped the principles of justice, with death and marriage the main engines of housekeeping, the former being set aside exclusively for the morally dubious, the latter a reward withheld until the final page.

If you had to, how would you describe what writing does for you?


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