Nut's And Bolts Or Muse?


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Thread: Nut's And Bolts Or Muse?

  1. #1

    Nut's And Bolts Or Muse?

    I'm a nuts and bolts writer. For me, the muse comes from digging down into what makes a good style and what doesn't. Is this sentence structure interesting? Are these words conveying everything I intended in the sentence? Is the rhythm of this sentence pleasing? Does the rhythm of this sentence have an emotional connection with what this particular paragraph/page/chapter is trying to convey? And of course obvious things like grammar and punctuation, although these are something I often consider in the proofing rather than when I'm writing. The muse eventually comes but it's not until I've nailed (or hopefully nailed) the nuts and bolts.

    I often write sentences down that pop into my head just because I like the structure and context behind them. Here's one I wrote down yesterday. I may never use it but it's me playing with the nuts and bolts of an idea.

    He never rang her. She was no hook, his cock was no worm, and he certainly wasn’t some hapless carp, waiting to be netted.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  2. #2
    I've never heard the saying "nuts and bolts" related to writing, but it is a good way to describe it. For me, I never think about the nuts and bolts. I only think about the story I want to tell and what scenes or dialogue I need to make it work. I think about, how can I make this interesting for the reader? But it's always in terms of content. I rely on my education to construct the sentences. The Muse is always there though. It is a desired style or voice I wish to achieve. I think it is a consolidation of all my favourite authors.

    I think there are different levels of artistry to writing. If I compare it to the fashion industry, your style may be the haute couture, whereas mine would be the ready-to-wear!
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  3. #3
    We poets even have a Nuts and Bolts discussion forum
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    I've never heard the saying "nuts and bolts" related to writing, but it is a good way to describe it. For me, I never think about the nuts and bolts. I only think about the story I want to tell and what scenes or dialogue I need to make it work. I think about, how can I make this interesting for the reader? But it's always in terms of content. I rely on my education to construct the sentences. The Muse is always there though. It is a desired style or voice I wish to achieve. I think it is a consolidation of all my favourite authors.

    I think there are different levels of artistry to writing. If I compare it to the fashion industry, your style may be the haute couture, whereas mine would be the ready-to-wear!
    I really never got an education. I was too busy trying to avoid the bullies and the stick. I'm useless at maths and regularly got the stick for getting them wrong. I would often get stars for my English though. Funny how it works isn't it ...

    I'm not well read either. I was drawn to the genres I liked the best (horror/fantasy), something I put down to the nightmares I had every night (horror) and the need to escape (fantasy). My first author of influence was Michael Moorcock, but from the very beginning, I didn't just read the story. I was fascinated by the sentence structure of his work. Of course, the first thing I did when I started constructing sentences, was to try and emulate him. It didn't work but I did at least increase my vocabulary. For years I simply wrote paragraphs and nothing more. Even now I do not read many books and choose only authors that I think reflect where I'd like to be (or there abouts) in terms of tone, rhythm and sentence structure. These authors are Koontz and Barker, with a little bit of Bradbury sprinkled in occasionally when I'm feeling brave enough. Of course I can't in any way emulate these greats. They're just pointers for me. My ambition is to be a decent hack writer.

    One thing I noted when doing writing courses was the constant dropping of numbers. We'd start with 20 - 25 and inevitably finish with 4 - 5, and most of those were always the same people. I talk to everyone and anyone, and over my time on writing courses (and on writing forums), I've come to realise there are natural writers, propped up by a decent education and so fluent writers right of the bat, and people like myself, who have ambition, stories to tell, but no bedrock to easily launch from. Nuts and bolts people are everywhere. It intimidates them (me) when people talk in terms of 'the muse', not necessarily using that word but inferring it. This muse is too ethereal, artsy fartsy for a nuts and bolts person like myself. I stick around though, not easily intimidated by educated and more intelligent people than myself, but rather inspired by them. That's why I was one of the 4 -5 and lots of others left.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    I really never got an education. I was too busy trying to avoid the bullies and the stick. I'm useless at maths and regularly got the stick for getting them wrong. I would often get stars for my English though. Funny how it works isn't it ...

    I'm not well read either. I was drawn to the genres I liked the best (horror/fantasy), something I put down to the nightmares I had every night (horror) and the need to escape (fantasy). My first author of influence was Michael Moorcock, but from the very beginning, I didn't just read the story. I was fascinated by the sentence structure of his work. Of course, the first thing I did when I started constructing sentences, was to try and emulate him. It didn't work but I did at least increase my vocabulary. For years I simply wrote paragraphs and nothing more. Even now I do not read many books and choose only authors that I think reflect where I'd like to be (or there abouts) in terms of tone, rhythm and sentence structure. These authors are Koontz and Barker, with a little bit of Bradbury sprinkled in occasionally when I'm feeling brave enough. Of course I can't in any way emulate these greats. They're just pointers for me. My ambition is to be a decent hack writer.

    One thing I noted when doing writing courses was the constant dropping of numbers. We'd start with 20 - 25 and inevitably finish with 4 - 5, and most of those were always the same people. I talk to everyone and anyone, and over my time on writing courses (and on writing forums), I've come to realise there are natural writers, propped up by a decent education and so fluent writers right of the bat, and people like myself, who have ambition, stories to tell, but no bedrock to easily launch from. Nuts and bolts people are everywhere. It intimidates them (me) when people talk in terms of 'the muse', not necessarily using that word but inferring it. This muse is too ethereal, artsy fartsy for a nuts and bolts person like myself. I stick around though, not easily intimidated by educated and more intelligent people than myself, but rather inspired by them. That's why I was one of the 4 -5 and lots of others left.
    Well if you were getting stars for english, then you must have an education. And intelligence is not defined by education. I have come to meet intelligent people in all walks of life.
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Well if you were getting stars for english, then you must have an education. And intelligence is not defined by education. I have come to meet intelligent people in all walks of life.
    Oh, I couldn't agree more. Thinking is a process, education is recollection. This is why it's important to hear all sides of an argument. Without that, you simply have recollection ...
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  7. #7
    I'm a slave to my muse. She's a hard mistress, fickle and unreliable. But when she gives me stuff to nuts'n'bolts together, it works out not too badly. Still learning how to do that, though.


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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    I'm a slave to my muse. She's a hard mistress, fickle and unreliable. But when she gives me stuff to nuts'n'bolts together, it works out not too badly. Still learning how to do that, though.
    Nonsense! I'm currently going through 'In secret Dreams' ... and your craftsmanship is sublime. If you're this good and the muse gave you that, then strike me stunned. Now back to being impressed ...
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  9. #9
    My muse is about as reliable as a 1975 Ford Pinto with gremlins in the electrical system. Once I gather some nuts and bolts and some tools and beat on the thing with a hammer, it does work. Of course, it can just as easily blow up and leave me stranded.

    So always good to have those nuts and bolts ready.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Foxee View Post
    My muse is about as reliable as a 1975 Ford Pinto with gremlins in the electrical system. Once I gather some nuts and bolts and some tools and beat on the thing with a hammer, it does work. Of course, it can just as easily blow up and leave me stranded.

    So always good to have those nuts and bolts ready.
    What leads you in though? I'm drawn along by the process of creating tight and interesting sentences, and then (and only then) do I feel engaged enough to tell the story. I found, more often than not, the people who left the writing courses were those who couldn't find a starting point. The teacher was keen on talking of the muse and whilst he was a brilliant teacher, I could see, and felt myself, that it isn't of any help to a true beginner. What is the muse? Where is it? How do I find it? Are all incidental and distracting questions when the most important questions are: What are my bricks like? How do I make sure my wall is straight? Should I knock this wall down or add more bricks to it? Tangible things that 'ordinary folk' like myself could relate to.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

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