Daily Writing Tip 58 of 100, The Distrust of Technique

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – The Distrust of Technique

Source – The Writing of Fiction by Edith Wharton

The distrust of technique and the fear of being unoriginal-both symptoms of a certain lack of creative abundance-are in truth leading to pure anarchy in fiction, and one is almost tempted to say that in certain schools formlessness is now regarded as the first condition of form.

I’m not sure if I think “pure anarchy” is the biggest problem in fiction right now (unless you consider teenaged vampires and the like “pure anarchy”) but the advice is good, nevertheless.

What I think she is saying is that originality for its own sake is never a good idea and that some sort of form is necessary if you want to connect with the reader.

On the other hand, if you have come up with your own unique form – and you have thought it out and have an idea, a point, and a clue…. Then go for it.

2 responses to “Daily Writing Tip 58 of 100, The Distrust of Technique

  1. I keep running into novels which I think I’d enjoy if they hadn’t left out things like capitalization, or quotation marks on dialogue, and all of it clearly done consciously for reasons of “art.”. I’m right along with Wharton on this, for all my opinion is worth.

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