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Scott Lax Blog

Writing Perspectives & Wicked Curveballs

In an interview in "The Paris Review," Truman Capote said, "Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself."

In other words: Creativity without an underlying discipline and order tends to read as chaos. When you've learned the basics of grammar, usage and style -by all means, break the rules if you want, or bend them; use wild, original colorings and shadings in your writing, if that's what suits you and your work.

Think of a baseball pitcher with a screaming fastball and wicked curveball. If he or she can't get it over the plate, though, he or she will be off the team and throwing his or her pitches against an old barn somewhere.

First, get it over the plate.