for writers and readers….
Our childhood houses offered, at their most basic, shelter. But they also served as round-the-clock stage sets, as a kind of theater in which we were both actor and audience…
…This might be our ambition, then: To write the physical places that shaped us with such evocative specificity that those who read our pages will feel not just the wind blowing through but the lives themselves—the gathering, the yearning, the inevitably inadequate but elementally human attempts at shaping and keeping.
Our childhood houses were where we learned proportion and relationship, color and shine, function and dysfunction, echo. Our childhood houses were our theaters in the round. Our privilege, and our challenge, is to write them, to convert the house into a home.
Beth Kephart in Brevity
Photo Credit: Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash
if that’s ‘brevity’ I’d hate to hear her concept of long-winded and high falutin’.
Brevtity refers to the US literary journal for creative non-fiction (no article longer than 750 words). This was from a craft article in this month’s issue.
Apologies for making the author seem long-winded. It’s my fault for quoting so much, but I did enjoy and appreciate her advice on the importance of evocative specificity…and think it useful for many new who are new to writing.
I thought her language unduly highblown… ‘evocative specificity’ really?
yes, so much of our lives were played out on the home ‘stage’
It’s a different way of looking at home: the place where we found (or perhaps struggled to find) our first audience
yes, that’s such a good way of putting it
Sarah, maybe you’re right. I think I’d fall back on the lovely old cliche that the devil is in the detail rather than use ‘evocative specificity’ (And I would stumble ove saying that phrase aloud…)
Perfect for my Advanced Writing students who are reading memoirs.