“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King
A deep and soulful quote.
For some reason my mind is caught on the part that says words are limited or cause a limitation? Words are limiting but then when you are not face to face with someone and you cannot be there to feel what they feel, words are our next best friends.
Writing, I find myself groping for words or trying to describe something that is hard to describe in words. Fritzgerald was brilliant at this using metaphors. That is why I am a firm believer in writing, writing, and more writing. King is a prolific writer. He writes well - not like Fritzgerald. : ) I agree. The written word is a great means to communicate.
Hemingway would agonize over one paragraph for a full day at a time. If you read A Moveable Feast, you will see his professional jealous as he attacks all of his contemporaries, by divulging their innermost secrets, after their deaths. I think he resented their easy ability to craft great works. I enjoyed most of his novels (despised Old Man and the Sea) but their themes are sophomoric at best.
With regards to Fitzgerald, he would write a "perfect" story, and then f*ck it up in order to make it more commercially appealing. Hemingway was appalled.
One of the biggest challenges of writing both fiction and non-fiction (other than how-to materials) is to brace up and confront the often less-than-pretty realities of life and human relations.
Some of the writers I know have a compulsion to portray both their own past experiences and the people and settings and situations in their fictional works as "nice." I have the impression that there is a feeling that it is somehow shameful to acknowledge that you or anyone you've ever known had negative experiences or feelings. There is an unwillingness to expose even their fictional characters to anything more than the most gentle unpleasantness.
I'm not sure why this is, but I suspect most of us have an almost superstitious belief that we can prevent ugliness and unpleasantness from becoming "real" simply by not speaking of it--or that acknowledging that bad things can and do happen will undermine our "pretty" fantasies about how the world works. Plus of course we are ashamed of the negative experiences in our lives.
The result, whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction, is a lack of dramatic tension, as well as a lack of character development.
One of my Favorite novels is consumed with characters that are not "nice." Wuthering Heights is rife with unpleasant, selfish characters. Even the selfless father, who brings home Heathcliff, is likely the father of this illegitimate gypsy boy. Which leads us to incest and a variety of other malevolent, selfish, ill dealing folks. Just like life. I love it.
I totally get this. Totally. I've had so many experiences directly along those lines and have felt the loneliness as well. I finally started writing because I couldn't find that ear, only to discover that I seldom express those deep thoughts in writing either.
I really resonate with this line: When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
It took me 24 years to find a friend who I felt comfortable sharing with. Life is so much better now. I later realized, that there were many understanding ears around, I was surrounded by them.
by Kenna McHugh 5 months ago
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