Saturday, November 11, 2006

Writing Lessons From Iraq

I spent half of my writing time this Saturday morning composing an email to a friend regarding the current state of Civilization's War Against Evil. (I think I like that title better than the Global War on Terror even though it would have taken up more space on the medal I got.) Anyway, I started thinking that disagreements in parts of Iraq are a lot like writing. Things tend to go along just fine for most of the day until the car bomb goes off.

Most of us write with some kind of plan in mind. It may be a detailed outline or it may be just the feeling we got when we started typing. That plan flows along just fine until something unforseen crops up. We throw in a line that we didn't intend because it sounded cool but later we find out that it takes the story in a slightly different direction and gums up the plan. Like a car bomb, it can make a mess of things. Also like a car bomb, first aid will be rendered and an investigation will be started. (Unlike a car bomb, no one is literally dead but since I like to live in a figurative world [just ask the friend I emailed this morning] that's not much of a concern.) After all that a new bus stop will be put in place and everything will be hunky dory again. Your writing will be stronger with a few car bombs thrown in.

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