The Far Shore

“Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper.”

~~Isaac Bashevis Singer

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11 Comments

  1. Paul C said:

    "…we have much more to say than appears on the paper." That is one of the writer's challenges: say much in little.

    March 30, 2010
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  2. Postman said:

    How true that is. I've agonized over the ideas in my head and what's actually come out on the paper. The latter seems such a poor, hollow imitation of the former. The best we can do is minimize what's lost in translation.

    Stephen King relates the process to a paleontologist getting a fossil out of the ground. The whole fossil is in there, perfectly preserved. If you're a good writer, you'll be able to tease it out of the ground as whole as possible. If not…it'll be fragmented and damaged and sorry.

    An excellent quote, sir, as always. Quite relevant.

    March 30, 2010
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  3. E. Elle said:

    So true. Excellent quote.

    March 30, 2010
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  4. I am there right now – thanks for the quote, it's nice to know that other people feel like that too! :)

    March 30, 2010
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  5. Christine H said:

    So, so true. I want to put this one on my refrigerator. Sometimes you have to let the story be what it is now, and stop trying to make it more. It is what it is, and that's enough.

    March 31, 2010
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  6. Donna Hole said:

    I write excellent prose in my head; something gets lost at my fingertips though.

    ……dhole

    March 31, 2010
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  7. Jon Paul said:

    Paul–Ain't that the truth.

    Postie–I like King's analogy because it captures both the care and work necessary, and the sense that the idea's been there all along and only needs to be brought to the light.

    E.–Thanks.

    Jenn–This is something I have to remind myself even before I get started. The minute I start to see that what is on the page doesn't correspond to the picture in my head, I have a nearly irresistible urge to put it aside.

    Sarahjayne–You're welcome.

    Christine–I agree. And one of the things I've started to discover is that sometimes my work is better when I don't tinker with it. It sounds weird, but I'm making a conscious effort to let my unconscious play more.

    Donna–That distance is immense, isn't it?!

    Thanks gang for stopping by and commenting.

    March 31, 2010
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  8. Finally–a quote that expresses my ultimate frustration when I write. I yearn to extract the most complete fossils of Stephen King's paleontologist quoted above. Sometimes my rewards are only splinters.

    March 31, 2010
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  9. Ah, how I used to love Mr. Singer. I must read him again. That quote is so true. Sometimes I'm filled with such ambition but have trouble making it come out in my words.
    By the way, I have given you an award on my blog. May it help you find words. 😀

    March 31, 2010
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  10. Jon Paul said:

    Peggy–I'm totally with you. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but also rewarding.

    Tricia–Gee whiz! Thanks! I'll pop over and see what's what!

    Thanks ladies for stopping in.

    April 1, 2010
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