Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Munk Rules! -An Off Cycle Blog Post-

Cheryl Klein of the Brooklyn Arden inspired me this morning. She, being quite principled herself, began a new section on her blog called "Other People's Principles." Her goal is to compile a list of lists. Apologies for the redundancies, but a principle list of listed principles is inherently redundant, unless of course you are Dr. Suess, at which point it becomes a Star Infested Pundonkey. Anyway, Ms. Klein has requested that any of her readers who feel up to it, write a list of principles on writing. So did I and so should you. Perhaps all of you "A to Z" bloggers can adopt a German accent and create "Zee" list for your Saturday post. Warning, seeing as I am unpublished, and have no real prospects, be wary of putting any of my principles into practice.  

Munk’s List on Writing
Regarding expectations: Write to reach someone, but not everyone.
Regarding conventions: Avoid the entrapments of genre, write a story.
Regarding details: Sweat the little stuff and the big stuff: words, sentences, punctuation, characters, plot, theme… all of it.
Regarding craft: Face your weaknesses. Never stop growing, but pace yourself. Opt for daily reflections over weeklong immersions, growth is time consuming and effortful.
Regarding reviews: Listen hardest to those whom you respect the most, but ignore the others at your peril (I wish I had an editor to instruct me on the proper use of ‘whom’).
Regarding age appropriateness: Write to your audience in theme only, avoid restricted vocabulary (except in character voice).
Regarding absolutism: Never follow a tip beginning with the word ‘never’ (yes, this means you Elmore). Break rules.
Regarding inspiration: Write with purpose or with joy, or both.
Regarding editors: Secure council that possesses passion and energy—and nothing to lose.                                         
Regarding lists: Make your own.

I am a big fan of Ms. Klein, aside from being a Potterologist (I’ll let you scour her website to understand that reference) and an editor for Arthur A. Levine, a Scholastic imprint, she spends much of her time helping people understand the craft of writing. I find her writing on writing pragmatic, value rich, and entertaining. She connects many of my free radical Zots.

Check her website, if you like what you see, I recommend you buy her book, Second Sight. I carry two books in my backpack when I write: hers and “Strunk and White”. 

Do you have a list?

Munk’s opening line,
I can’t be redundant; I’m the only one who knows how to fly the plane. 
Munk's "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk