Poetic License

imagesMy friend David Stewart, a great writer (https://greenwalledtower.wordpress.com/), suggested this as a theme I’ve been moodily mulling over.  It was because lately I’ve been getting some bewildering comments that have made me take pause.

Let’s begin with basics…its meaning – Poetic License – a noun…
the freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect : he used a little poetic license to embroider a good tale.  In other words…IN YOUR OWN WORDS…IN YOUR OWN VOICE.

That said.

It’s what separates you from the herd.

To be clear, I am not comparing myself to any of these amazing authors, but would you ever mistake David Sedaris or Anne Lamott, Stephen King or Jane Austen for anyone else?

The answer is no, because of their particular way of expressing themselves which is why you read them in the first place…for their matchless style.

The first comment that stuck in my craw was one concerning Bill Hicks.  It was in my essay Last Call, when I was lamenting about drinking.  I had said, he started from the womb, my way of saying, Bill was young.  I got bitch slapped for this and to be honest, it made me sad that anyone would think I would desecrate him in any manner.

Then we had my usage of the term fuck I feel should be added to the English language as a legitimate word, one I use all the time.  Why?  It cuts to the quick…spare, understood.  It takes-no-prisoners if you will.  Why does it tend to offend when it alleviates so much pressure?  Wasn’t the first time this came up.  In my essay, A Word Like No Other, way back in August 2011, a fellow, I never heard from before or since, took me to task.

This brings me to candor, one of the hardest things to pull off in any type of prose.  Nora Ephron said, most fiction is non-fiction, like in her novel Heartburn about when her husband fell in love with someone else.  Yes, she disguised the particulars, but her heart was at the helm draining its hurt nonetheless.

To dig deep is a writer’s biggest challenge, so when a reader becomes censorious, it manifests as mystifying to have to put her tail between her legs for bravely being honest.

My question to whomever the shoe may fit?  What makes you feel so uncomfortable?  It’s usually something pressing a button that may need to be fleshed out to enable more freedom of self.  I could lecture on this.  Why a word or phrase takes you out to the ballgame belting emotional grand slams not caring what or who you hit.  Believe me, it’s worth a mental perusal.

When you get to the bottom of it, it’s like loosening your belt.

One last point.  There are so many blogs to choose from so if mine doesn’t sit well, that’s okay.  Spend your time somewhere that illuminates instead of dulls, lights rather than dims.  I say this well.

The internet has so much, almost too much, to offer so no one needs to settle for something that feels wrong or peculiar.

We writers aspire to inspire, not offend or irk, miff or piss-off.

Writing is like white water rafting – we do it to feel the wind in our hair. getPart

SB

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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26 Responses to Poetic License

  1. micklively says:

    I can feel the flex of your literary muscle here. Your prose is wonderful. I agree with everything you’ve said, particularly the fiction/non-fiction aspect. Most adults are (should be) able to “take a pinch of salt” with anything they read. Contesting detail is a puerile pursuit.

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  2. Susannah, I like the way you phrased it, “We writers aspire to inspire, not offend or irk, miff or piss-off.” And I agree with you, if someone doesn’t happen to like something we say (Fuck— sometimes it’s the perfectly word), I get it. Takes some soul searching at times—a real grappling of spirit—to express how we really feel about something. And besides, it is our blogs that we are writing in—us in the flesh, our own editor and chief—those who have come to know us will get it, and hopefully understand and read what we have to say. If they do not, they don’t have to stay—unless you happen to be one of the poor unfortunate souls following my blog, where I still employ a ball and chain in order to keep rebellious followers of mine from abandoning my post. Like you said, the world is full of blogs, writing not restricted by some editor telling others what they can and can not write. Feel free to roam the wilds of the internet, because like it is said, “The grass is always greener.” Or maybe —its not?

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    • You’ve spoken for writers everywhere. Freedom to express. You write beautifully with pluck and heart, and a blog where one can venture at one’s will is nothing short of a grace…a canvas of personal colors. Thank you for weighing in 🙂

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  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I think the people who tend to put others down in order to build themselves up are more blatant when they don’t have to do it face to face. And you are not alone on the receiving end. Here is a comment I was given: “obviously like your web-site but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality then again I’ll definitely come back again.”
    I pride myself on checking my spelling. Not to say words can’t slip by, but “rife with errors”? I suppose I could mention this person’s last sentence which sounds like he/she was high. Don’t waste another minute or thought on the naysayers.

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    • Forgive me Skinny, but I had to laugh at you being admonished for spelling. Who was she, had to be a she…Miss Crabtree from the Little Rascals?
      Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald, were the two most worst spellers in the history of the English language. You read their letters and it’s almost funny how neither seemed to care.
      I also think, many people are suppressed creatively and take shots at those of us who are not. I get that a lot. I even have friends who ignore my writing having no art of their own…makes me sad for them. Candor, constancy on the page…attempting to get better at our craft is really what’s important. Thanks for sharing your experience. See how open and brave you are 🙂

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  4. Personally, I’m a topic chick. I flee from blogs whose subject matter doesn’t interest me. If the subject matter is (what I consider) interesting, I weed through things I agree with or not. That’s what makes the conversation in the comments interesting. Criticism is best done in private (and only when asked). I’ve seen commenters get ummm….”pointed” or “sharp” in their comments. I follow a blogger who has titled her comments section, “Play nice now.” Great post.

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  5. Elle Knowles says:

    It’s readers who take offense to what is written, and lambaste us with negative comments to force our hand at seeing from their perspective.
    If umbrage is taken upon reading an offensive (to you) essay, bow out gracefully. Believe me, you will never be missed. ~Elle

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    • Well put. Being the reader I am, I try not to take someone’s perspective, as you put it, personally, and if something troubles me I look to see what it’s bringing up. Like I was reading something someone said about Caroline Kennedy that annoyed me realizing, I too had the same physical flaw they were flaunting as if it should be made public. It’s good to evoke another, kindle feelings. I’m not sorry that happens, just wish tact was part of the circle. Thanks for writing. Some great comments here.

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  6. Ally Bean says:

    Interesting. Over the years I’ve had all sorts of people criticize what I’ve written on my blog. They seemed to fall into 2 categories: grammar nuts or armchair psychologists. In both cases they wanted to straighten me out. Make me write and say things that they know to be true. Tell me how wrong I am. From these experiences I’ve decided that I must be doing something right if I’m irritating them that much! Sounds like you’re in the same situation. Ever onward, Susannah. 😉

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    • Thanks for this. It’s a great way to look at it. I would never criticize any writer…I’d find something good to say, because there’s always something there. A word, a phrase. The grammarians are out in droves and since I write by ear, my mistakes are vast. Then again, Winston Churchill wrote by ear, so I feel I’m in good company :). Thanks Aly, for writing.

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  7. Just like a driver’s license, a poetic license can take you far, along lonely metaphorical highways. Write with abandon and feel the wind in your hair.

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