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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
... what historian Andrew Roberts said about Winston Churchill. Writing about an exhibition of Churchilliana he notes:

"Here was a man who could not write or say a boring sentence, but the reason was - as these documents show time and again - that he would rework and revise with a perfectionist's commitment until he got it absolutely right.
The result was ultimately sublime, of course, but it was not without an extraordinary amount of time spent continually rewriting until he was happy with the cadences, rhythms and meaning of his words. He respected the power of words, and this exhibition shows just how much effort he put into making them live in his readers' and listeners' minds."

:)
 

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I love the wit and wisdom of Churchill. Do you suppose he had an editor or proofreader? I know he dictated to a secretary at times.
 

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I try to live my life by the 80/20 rule.

There is always a concept of "Good enough" - even for great writers. I'm sure most (all) of us could re-write our works into oblivion and still never be 100% satisfied. I strive every time I sit down at the keyboard to make sure that I'm meeting my own "good enough" standard, and not striving for "almost perfect."

This post meets my "good enough" standard; though I can already see things I'd like to rephrase. Oh well... this is what you're getting ;)
 

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Is this gonna be another "if you put out a lot of books quickly, you're not putting out quality writing" thread? I love those. Where's sicklove? I wanna get his input so we can tick off half the board.  ;D
 

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Churchill was amazing in his output and the quality of his thought. It's difficult to contemplate the level of his output in context of how busy he was with politics and his other pursuits. I don't think he slept much. I recall reading somewhere that he habitually cat-napped through the night. He would bounce awake at any hour and require his aides to get up as well. They don't make 'em like they used to, and they don't write 'em like they used to as well.
 

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That fine line is what I'm struggling with right now. Finished the second draft, and I can see so many ways it could be better...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Masha du Toit said:
That fine line is what I'm struggling with right now. Finished the second draft, and I can see so many ways it could be better...
It's as well to remember the saying: "You know it's time to stop editing when you start putting back the commas you've just taken out." ;D
 

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T.L. Haddix said:
I don't think that's what Jan was getting at. More of a reminder to actually think about what you're writing, and not just slop words on the page and call it a book for the sake of publishing and/or money.
Ah, a sensible thread. Well, that's not nearly as much fun.
 

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The brandy-soaked Churchill had some good quotes, but he's hardly a shining example to writers. He was also an Imperialist in the true sense, doing everything possible to hang onto England's colonies, without any interest in what the oppressed people thought about it.
 

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The bottomline is that some readers care more about story than about style. I simply will not buy a book that has immature writing but there are people who just want a story they can get all wrapped up in. If you know your target audience you know how much you can get away with. <claps hands over mouth to avoid mentioning the words "50 shades.">
 

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Ian Fraser said:
The brandy-soaked Churchill had some good quotes, but he's hardly a shining example to writers. He was also an Imperialist in the true sense, doing everything possible to hang onto England's colonies, without any interest in what the oppressed people thought about it.
That's definitely relevant. I also think Hitler's love of dogs should be counted in the assessment of Mein Kampf.
 

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Ian Fraser said:
The brandy-soaked Churchill had some good quotes, but he's hardly a shining example to writers. He was also an Imperialist in the true sense, doing everything possible to hang onto England's colonies, without any interest in what the oppressed people thought about it.
Who thought that using poisoned gas weapons on those who resisted was just a dandy idea.

WHDean said:
That's definitely relevant. I also think Hitler's love of dogs should be counted in the assessment of Mein Kampf.
A peculiar observation. I would think that a better comparison would be Hilter's belief that Jews should be exterminated and Churchill's comment that: "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes."

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHU407A.html

Churchill was a politician. His political beliefs would seem rather relevant to me.
 

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Churchill's politics might well be relevant to you. But they aren't to whether he was a good prose stylist. I can admit that Marx was a good rhetorician without endorsing the death toll that his skills brought about.

As for the poised gas business, Churchill argued that tear gas was more humane for pacifying rebellious tribes for much the same reason police forces currently use it to pacify uncivilized mobs. Seems like a better idea than killing them. I don't know for sure that Churchill asked his war planners to consider mustard gas, but it wouldn't really surprise me. I think we find it more brutal because we know what it feels like to choke, but not what it feels like to get shot. Were we as familiar with the latter as the former, we'd probably see no difference between them--i.e., they'd both be perceived as painful deaths.
 

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Ian Fraser said:
The brandy-soaked Churchill had some good quotes, but he's hardly a shining example to writers. He was also an Imperialist in the true sense, doing everything possible to hang onto England's colonies, without any interest in what the oppressed people thought about it.
You have an opinion regarding Churchill and his value to writers. I also have an opinion regarding Churchill and his value to writers. Our opinions are very different.

Which colonies contained those "oppressed" people who were being ignored? I have spent much of my life living in former British colonies - somehow I missed this "oppression". Should I feel slighted?
 

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Ian Fraser said:
The brandy-soaked Churchill had some good quotes, but he's hardly a shining example to writers. He was also an Imperialist in the true sense, doing everything possible to hang onto England's colonies, without any interest in what the oppressed people thought about it.
A creative of high quality and high output is not a good example to other creatives due to his politics? That's a problematic road to go down.

John Steinbeck--only a good example for socialists
Carl Hiassen--only a good example for environmentalists
Maxim Gorky--only a good example for communists
Leni Riefenstahl--only a good example for national socialists
Orson Scott Card--only a good example for conservatives
Richard Wagner--only a good example for socialists and anti-Semites
Louis Aragon--only a good example for communists
Jorge Luis Borges--not a good example for communists, socialists, and Peronistas
Dalton Trumbo--only a good example for communists
Lillian Hellman--only a good example for communists
James Cameron--only a good example for nut cases
CS Lewis--only a good example for conservative christians

The list is theoretically endless. We could slice and dice until the cows come home. Excellence is excellence, and I have to give kudos to whomever does a good job, regardless of politics or religion or weird personal points of view. I once worked on a James Taylor documentary for Scottish TV. Concert at a little castle out in the middle of nowhere. The guy is goofier than a basket of tie-dyed Twinkies, but I would pay huge money to take guitar lessons from him.
 

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WHDean said:
Churchill's politics might well be relevant to you. But they aren't to whether he was a good prose stylist. I can admit that Marx was a good rhetorician without endorsing the death toll that his skills brought about.

As for the poised gas business, Churchill argued that tear gas was more humane for pacifying rebellious tribes for much the same reason police forces currently use it to pacify uncivilized mobs. Seems like a better idea than killing them. I don't know for sure that Churchill asked his war planners to consider mustard gas, but it wouldn't really surprise me. I think we find it more brutal because we know what it feels like to choke, but not what it feels like to get shot. Were we as familiar with the latter as the former, we'd probably see no difference between them--i.e., they'd both be perceived as painful deaths.
He wasn't talking about "tear gas" although he does admit to the possibility of not using the MOST lethal possible gases, nor do I find it an attractive assertion that the Kurds or any others who resisted British rule such as the Indians are "uncivilized". Not wanting to be taken over by Britain is not an example of being "uncivilized".

If you think poisoned gas doesn't kill people and do so horribly, I suggest looking at the WWI death and invaliding tolls. Whatever his style, most of Churchill's writing was political in nature so his politics are certainly relevant. He wasn't a fiction writer. He was a politician. His politics matter.
 

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Christopher Bunn said:
I once worked on a James Taylor documentary for Scottish TV. Concert at a little castle out in the middle of nowhere. The guy is goofier than a basket of tie-dyed Twinkies, but I would pay huge money to take guitar lessons from him.
I have a brother named James with down's syndrome. He LOVES JT. I mean like nobody's business. we had to go hunting last week for a greatest hits cd b/c he wore out the last one. I can't tell you how many he has bought. so it's funny that you mention him :)
 

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KellyHarper said:
If you're publishing more than 1 novel every five years it's clearly crap writing. *thumbs my nose at everyone*
I'm sure you're right, but I have to say your covers are extremely distracting and I can never read a single thing you write.

That doesn't mean I don't enjoy your posts though! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
David Adams said:
I'm sure you're right, but I have to say your covers are extremely distracting and I can never read a single thing you write.

That doesn't mean I don't enjoy your posts though! :D
Obliged to scroll up and take a look at the covers ;D
 
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