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genius writing: wicked son of a witch

By June 30, 2008How To


I am completely awestruck by songwriters. There are only a set amount of notes, and yet, every second it seems, new songs are created – totally original, new, unheard of. How is this possible? I’ve always wondered if, at some point, music’s creativity pool would become saturated – all of the notes in all of their combinations would be written, played, sung – there has to be a finite point of fulfillment, right? I swear we ran similar numbers in junior high math class. Ahhh, if only I had paid attention…or enjoyed math. I realize that the NUMBER must be huge – but it exists…doesn’t it?

Then, last night, as I finished one of the best books ever (more on that later), it occurred to me that the same idea could be applied to writing. There are only 26 letters (in my country, anyway) – so musn’t there be a finite number of words and word combinations, ie. stories, posts, emails, novels, websites? Again, I know this number has to be gigantic…but??? And aren’t we, writers, just as awe-inspiring as these songwriters because we have the ability to take this set amount of tools and compose something original, new and unheard of?

If any of you are math geeks (is this considered probability?)…I’d love to hear your thoughts. This is so heady for a Monday morning, eh?

My book recommendation: I have this thing, sometimes, for discovering things later than everyone else…and I’ll tell you why this works to my advantage. If someone were to watch, say, Sex and the City as each episode aired, they would have to wait weeks, months, years to feed their fix. But, if you waited until they were all out on DVD, you could watch them straight through – voraciously – without the need for patience.

I just discovered a book called Wicked and its sequel, Son of a Witch. I know that I’m late to the game – but I got to read them right in a row…boom, boom. Gregory Maguire is brilliant – he created a whole world. He made words do about a gajillion things I’d never seen them do before. I’m totally bewitched, hopelessly ensorceled.

(Prize for whoever can tell me what character, on what prime time show used that word ensorceled to describe his feelings for a love interest.)

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