Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Jack Remick; Always a Scholastic Endeavor

A conversation with Jack Remick about writing is
always a scholastic endeavor.  Yesterday at Louisa’s
was no different. One thing (of the many) he said that hit home for me while I’m in this rewrite phase
(this is a phase, right?) was, “The fewer words you
have the more important each word becomes.” Bingo!
I mean, I know that, but for some reason the way he said it yesterday… it just hit me.
If you ever talk with Jack, read his work, or write with him you know he bleeds his words in rapid fire, choosing the words that stay in his body of work and the words that go, the way a surgeon does heart surgery; skillfully and selectively cutting, knowing each cut means life or death to the body. This is how Jack writes.

This also is how Jack expects us to write. It’s my dream to be so adept and purposeful with each slice, but I’m not there yet and may never be. Sometimes I just feel dim-witted. Not because of what Jack says or his expectations, he’s about as supportive and compassionate as a teacher can possibly be. It’s because I tend to beat myself up so much when I don’t get something the first (even 2nd & 3rd) time. Do you do that? It’s ridiculous. I always say that writing is a lifelong apprenticeship, and yet I beat myself up for being a slow learner. Beating myself up only gets in the way of the writing – I get that and I’m working on getting over it.

Back to learning;
A must read is Jack’s notes on what he lives, eats, breathes and teaches; timed writing, the Cut To, structure and SO much more.  Click this link below and take notes. And by all means learn at your own pace. That’s what I tell others – time to take my own advice.

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3 comments on “Jack Remick; Always a Scholastic Endeavor

  1. Stephen Hayes
    March 31, 2012

    You might not know it, but I was a profession artist for many years and sold hundreds of illustrations and painting. When an illustration or painting was finished, when I realized I'd taken it as far as it could go and all that remained was making the painting different, not better, I would sign the piece. And it was done. I've never had this sort of closure with writing. I can't read a single page of anything I've ever written without wanting to make changes. I wonder if I'll ever be content with what I write.

  2. Pamela
    March 31, 2012

    Mindy, Keep plugging. Not enough time is spent on the teaching of revision and rewriting. I find grammar, English, and spelling errors in so much that I read that I can tell that editors have been cut from the process. RHH has wonderful classes, mostly about generating new work. I pounced on the class that you and I took with Bob last year for that reason (and others.)PHC

  3. maureen rogers
    March 31, 2012

    Hi Mindy, thanks for sharing Jack and Bob's blog – the 'type up what you write' really hit home with me. I have lots of 'untyped' words hanging out, waiting for me to get to them. A great prod. Also, love the fab new look of your blog

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This entry was posted on March 31, 2012 by in Jack Remick, Louisa's Cafe, Novel rewrite.
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