Tag Archives: Gail Carson Levine

In the Words of Gail Carson Levine

Once again I find words of inspiration and wisdom from this lovely YA author.

“You will sometimes write paragraphs of staggering loveliness. You will! Probably you already have. You’ll want to have those paragraphs tattooed on your forehead where everyone will see them. Then you’ll discover that they don’t help you tell your story. Do not do not DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT bend your story to accommodate your brilliant words.”

– Gail Carson Levine, Writing Magic

When writing or creating art in any form, it is never helpful to try and retroactively force a work to fit a new piece. Instead, save that piece of beauty. Put it away for later. Finish what you’ve started and use that brilliant bit for the next project or the one after that.

I came up with a frame of a story once but I had no filling for it. So I put it aside. I came up with a filling once, but no idea how to connect it. So I put it aside. I later realized they could fit together. Although I have not begun work on their joint project, they found they could work together. What crummy work would I have produced if I had tried to force these pieces into an unwilling union with whatever ideas I’d been scribbling out at the time of their conception?

Do not hurt yourself to produce art.

That is the most important thing I can think of to sum this all up. Do not become a detriment to yourself in favor of one small paragraph of brilliance. You will hurt your art, and you will forever be upset at yourself for the outcome. Instead of forcing it, save that piece for later. Or, if you must, discard that piece forever. You may hate yourself for a time, but it wasn’t meant to be and you will eventually understand that your work was better for it.

Ciao tutti,

RM

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