Today we were treated to an hour in the presence of Dinty Moore, named for a stew and modelled on a cigar chomping ne’er do well. I have never met a ne’er do well and here was one asking me what bus to take to the Water of Leith in between passing on his wisdom of writing creative non-fiction.
Working on my 20,000 word major project (which Dinty kindly offered to re-write for me, or at least cast his professional eye over) has taught me so much about the writing process; about my writing process, and I could have grilled Dinty all afternoon. In fact, had he not start charging £1.00 per question I would have. But here you have it from the ne’er do well’s mouth: everyone screws up research and the trick is to keep asking what you think the reader will want to know next; you have to learn to be ruthless and if what you spent the last five weeks writing doesn’t fit or doesn’t work – chuck it (he’s so ruthless); write, write, write.
I took enormous personal comfort from Dinty’s take on structure and shape when he explained both change as he gets further on with a project. In fact I was so relieved I fully expect to call him as a defence witness when I go up against Sam and David in the structure feedback.
But the main point I was reminded of today was why I want to write in the first place: people like stories. It’s just that simple. Sigh.
If you are looking for some Dinty in your life, I believe he is eating roasted hog in the Cowgate. Fact, not fiction.
The Real Dinty Moore