Divine Aphasia

Finding an angle

July 10, 2008

The big challenge of good writing is not finding something to write about, but figuring out how to write about it. My hard drive is littered with false starts, occasions when I thought I had a brilliant idea, only to realize while writing that I had no idea how to approach my topic. Back around January I wrote 500 words about the Writers Guild strike, and most of it isn’t any good because I was just writing down facts and ideas without any narrative thread. I had no angle, and hence no story. Even more frustrating was when, a couple days ago, I wanted to write about a beach that is very near and dear to my heart. I couldn’t write a single sentence that made me happy. All I had going for me was my nostalgia for this place, and nostalgia alone doesn’t get an essay anywhere. Abandoning an idea doesn’t feel good, but I’d rather never write about something important to me than write something boring about it.

Evan Silberman