Friday, May 21, 2010


The current edition of PARIS REVIEW magazine, has an interview with RAY BRADBURY which is well worth searching out and reading.

This bit struck me most though, not least because it is what I am always telling my students:

You can't write for other people. You can't write for the left or the right, this religion or that religion, or this belief or that belief. You have to write the way you see things.

And of course, if you are authentic your beliefs may come across. But they will not be forced. And they will matter.

So how do we do this?

In the interview Ray Bradbury suggests this great exercise - again students of mine may recognise it, but it's good to see that RB himself uses it. I've adapted it for here:


Make a list of then things you hate. Write a poem or story really ranting about them.

Now make a list of then things you love. Celebrate them in your writing. Go over the top. A love poem to your electric lightswitch.

And lastly combine up to five things from each. Combine them in such a way the reader doesn't realise this is an exercise. Can you swop them? Form a passion for something on your hate list, or mock a precious thought or object.

Whatever happens, you will have created a piece with energy and life. Plus it's fun. Which is never a bad thing.

1 comment:

Marisa Birns said...

Oooh. Going over to read Bradbury's piece!

Also will try the exercise you suggest.

Energy, life, fun. That combination can't be beat! :)