prose

I am an incurable romantic
I believe in hope, dreams and decency
I believe in love,
Tenderness and kindness.

I believe in mankind.

I believe in goodness,
Mercy and charity
I believe in a universal spirit
I believe in casting bread
Upon the waters.

I am awed by the snow-capped mountains
By the vastness of oceans.

I am moved by a couple
Of any age – holding hands
As they walk through city streets.

A living creature in pain
Makes me shudder with sorrow
A seagull’s cry fills me
With a sense of mystery.

A river or stream
Can move me to tears
A lake nestling in a valley
Can bring me peace.

I wish for all mankind
The sweet simple joy
That we have found together.

I know that it will be.
And we shall celebrate
We shall taste the wine
And the fruit.

Celebrate the sunset and the sunrise
the cold and the warmth
the sounds and the silences
the voices of the children.

Celebrate the dreams and hopes
Which have filled the souls of
All decent men and women.

We shall lift our glasses and toast
With tears of joy.”

—  Leonard Nimoy, A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life

He was the kind of boy who was so nice, that falling in love with him hardly felt like falling into a trap. He would smile and raise an eyebrow. ‘Don’t tell me you’re mad, again?’ And you would shake your head. It would never even occur that maybe there was a reason everything he did ended up hurting you.

He was the kind of boy who would change the subject when you were sad. ‘I can’t deal with your emotions,’ he would say. Then he would shut your mouth with his, and after that nothing mattered because his hands would do all the talking.

He was the kind of boy who would wrap a hand around your wrist and explain that he was keeping you safe. ‘You’re lucky to have me.’ And you sure felt lucky. ‘But you can’t keep getting upset like this. I can’t handle it. Girls like you are crazy.’ And you sure felt crazy too.

And he was the kind of boy you could never see properly until you’d gotten far far away. And what you saw there was an iron cage masquerading as affection. And what you’d feel would be relief and sadness and anger, that anyone could take your gentleness and twist it and use it against you. And you would see. You would see how he was ‘that’ kind of boy.

—  S.Z. // Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #154 // Sometimes he’d say, ‘talk to me, I want to know what you’re thinking’ and I’d try to explain. But after a while I realised he just wanted to know what I thought so he could shoot me down. So I stopped talking so much and he started complaining that I was getting too quiet.
The problem she has is you only see her when you have nothing to do. You don’t see how she makes time for you, when she has things to do; she drops them to see you. She doesn’t make you her second priority.
—  Michael Daaboul

1. When we first met I was sick and when we said good bye, I told you I wasn’t going to kiss your face because I didn’t want you to get sick, too.

2. Red wasn’t your favourite colour, so I stopped using my skin as a canvas.

3. After our first break up, I had to see therapists again but I didn’t tell them about you. I didn’t want them to think that you are a bad person who ruined me. I had already been a mess before I met you.

4. I listened to the songs you liked, even though I hated them.

5. We were sitting in a park on a summer night, a bit drunk and I played ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ and ‘R U Mine?’ on my phone and I hoped you’d get it.

6. I stopped asking about your mother.

7. When you left, I fought the urge to ask you to stay.

8. I’ve always been the emotional one, but you cried in front of me first. I held you as you cried silently and I didn’t say a word. I knew that you had been keeping it inside for so long and all you needed was me to understand. I did.

—  8 ways I tried to tell you I loved you
Should you edit as you go along?

dragoninatrenchcoat asked:

Hey! I’ve been working on a novel for a while, and my process was to just start writing and let it iron itself out. Now I’m 20k words into this book and I have a really good handle on what it is and where it’s going—but some of the scenes I’ve written are inappropriate, written from a POV character I’ve abandoned, and/or just plain factually wrong. Should I just keep writing and fix it later, or should I go back right now and fix it all because of how incredibly wrong it is? Thanks!

Haha, I was just thinking about your question when I came across this quote by Lauren Beukes that sums it up perfectly:

Finish the damn book. Nothing else matters. Stop second guessing yourself and write it through to the end. You don’t know what you have until you’ve finished it. You don’t know how to fix it until it’s all down on the page.

Keep writing and fix later! I think about writing first drafts as the part of the process where, if you were a sculptor, you’d be collecting all of your clay (the words being the clay). Once you have all of your clay in a big enough lump (ie, you’ve reached your word count goal), you can start shaping the lump into the beautiful, finished sculpture that it will become.

A lot of writers will even hammer out a whole first draft and then start the whole process over, making changes to their second write-through based on what they discovered in that first draft. I think the reason people usually recommend writing through a first draft is because if keep going back to edit before you’ve finished, there’s a good chance you’ll get stuck doing that and never actually finish your story. Also, the scenes that you find inappropriate now may not be once you’ve completed the story. You need the perspective that comes from standing at the end of the story.

Now, there are some writers who will read back over what they wrote the day before and make minor changes before embarking on the day’s writing. For example, Joan Didion talks about doing that in this interview. But I think that probably works because she’s only looking at what she wrote the day before, and she’s only making minor edits (I’d guess more line edits than anything else). But the organization of that process keeps her from getting caught up in infinite loop of back editing.

So yes, carry on! Especially since you feel strongly that you know where your story is headed—that’s awesome. Good luck & hope this helps!

This article will be archived on our Writing Advice page, under the heading “Editing”.