Here, oh genius writers, shufflers and whittlers, is our second excerpt from Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer (1934). Sit back with a cup of tea and some knitting and allow yourself to be transported …
Rhythm, Monotony, Silence
The idea of a book or story is usually apprehended in a flash. At that moment many of the characters, much of the situation, the story’s outcome, all may be – either dimly or vividly – prefigured. Then there is a period of intensive thinking and working over of the ideas. With some authors this is a period of great excitement; they seem intoxicated with the possibilities there before their minds. Later comes a quiescent period; and since almost every writer alive occupies himself in some quite idiosyncratic way in that interlude, it is seldom noticed that these occupations have a kind of common denominator. Horseback riding; knitting, shuffling and dealing cards; walking; whittling; you see they have a common denominator – of three figures, one might say. All of these occupations are rhythmical, monotonous and wordless. And that is our key.
Our third and final Dorothea instalment will follow later this week.
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