October 29, 2012

Answer from Suzanne

A few days ago, after reading an article from Suzanne Beecher in her online book club, I asked her a question. And I never thought that she would answered it on her column. The answer from Suzanne Beecher is as follows.


Dear Reader,

If you have a question about writing, feel free to ask. I'm happy to
reply. I can't send everyone a personal reply, but I'll answer
writing questions in my column. To view past questions and answers,
go to: http://tinyurl.com/WritingQ-A
After reading yesterday's column about my conversation with Bessie,
who lives in assisted living, book club reader, Franisz Ginting
emailed this writing question:

"Suzanne, how did you manage to remember the live conversations
[quotes] with Bessie? Did you use a recorder, or did you memorize
all of them instead?"--Franisz Ginting

(Suzanne replies:) After saying goodbye to Bessie, the minute I got
to my car, I grabbed my notebook and wrote down notes and the
handful of quotes I could remember from our conversation. There's a
paper and pen in my purse, in my car, bathroom, on the nightstand
next to my bed, and when I go outside to sit in the chaise and
relax, I set a pad of paper and a pen beside me on the ground, just
in case.

Writing isn't something I "do" when I sit down in front of my
computer. Everyday I'm watching and listening, and making mental
notes about things that happen, and the emotions I see on people's
faces. I listen closely to what they say, but if I don't write
things down immediately, I'll forget the details of the story and
worse, I can't recover how I felt at that very moment. So it's not
that I'm trying to actually write the story in my notes, but rather
I'm jotting down sentences that will trigger past emotions.

I've even saved a phone call from a friend (yes, they gave me
permission), so if I decided to write about their experience, I
could go back and listen to them tell the story in their own words,
and hear the excitement in their voice.

If you have a writing question, please send it to me at:

Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.

Suzanne Beecher

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