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Making Meaning

The Rich Writer: Making Meaning

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Monday, July 7, 2008

Making Meaning

I think that the best writers are philosophers.

I love a great story--plotting, in fact, is one of my favorite pasttimes--but plot alone isn't enough. The books that catch me and keep me are the ones that tackle life's bigger questions and try to make sense of them. Take City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Rereading it, I stumbled upon a wonderful line: If there was anything Clarey was learning from all of this, it was how easily you could lose everything that was ever important to you. (That's it, approximately--I don't have the book in front of me). It's not enough build great worlds, engaging plots, and believable characters. We need to draw insights from the resulting soup called story.

Whenever I'm facing one of life's inevitable ups and downs, I try to make sense of them. I try to answer those impossible questions...Do pet rats and mice go to heaven? Why does your best friend develop a brain tumor? How do you survive the loss of a loved one, a parent, a child?

There aren't formulaic answers (except about the pets question). I'd be cheating if I said there were. But when I write, I figure out a little bit about myself and the world. And I hope to help someone else out there figure those things out, too.

:) Cheryl

PS--For praying types, please send up a prayer for my best friend, Amy, who's having that brain tumor removed soon. We love you, girl!

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