A clever writing exercise from a sci-fi author

New York Magazine covers the offbeat side of arts and culture. In the April 5, 2010 issue, there’s a long article about Samuel R. Delaney, a sci-fi writer. What’s of interest is not his Dahlgren epic novel, but this insight into his writing technique, which the magazine calls “… a tantric blurt of automatic writing.” Read the full article if interested, but for today, consider his wonderful revision technique: writing one sentence per page and then reworking it all the way to the bottom of the paper.

“I wrote out hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of sentences at the top of notebook pages. Then I would work my way down the page, revising the sentence, again and again. When I got to the bottom I’d copy the sentence out to see if I wanted it”

If you’re interested in what New York calls “this disorienting vortex of pure textuality….” read more here. If you’re interested in an Saturday morning exercise, start writing those sentences, one at the top of each page, and revise your way down the page.

And remember — your blog is a great place to exercise your writing muscle.



1 Comment

  1. April 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrea Allen. Andrea Allen said: A clever writing exercise from a sci-fi author « Pajama Marketing http://bit.ly/dc087w […]

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