Nonesense Book Snippet: April

I hope y’all don’t mind, but I’m going to skip the Name Book snippet this month. I don’t come up with twenty new names every month, and I want to avoid duplicating names I’ve already posted. But here’s your Nonesense Book snippet!

(chapter segment from What If?)

Put Your Heart on the Page.

In a letter to a young Radcliffe student, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote of the price she must pay for aspiring to be a professional writer.

“You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your memories to sell.”

Too many writers avoid their strongest feelings because they are afraid of them, or because they are afraid of being sentimental. Yet these are the very things that will make beginning work ring true and affect us. Your stories have to matter to you the writer because they can matter to the reader; your story has to affect you, before it can affect us. William Kittredge says; “If you are not risking sentimentality, you are not close to your inner self.”


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