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John Mcphee

Literary Hub

How Reading John McPhee’s Book on Tennis Helped Me Write About Skateboarding

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”. Years ago, when I was still a budding fiction writer, I published an essay about how hard skateboarding is to write about. I focused on a few novelists who had skater characters in their books but who clearly didn’t skate themselves, as they got it completely wrong. But even for someone like me, who has skated for nearly 30 years, the intricacies of tricks, the goofy and convoluted terminology, and the nuanced hierarchy of difficulty all conspire to make skateboarding one of the most challenging subjects I’ve ever tackled.
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Wicked Local

LIFE OUTDOORS: Writers on Writing -- John McPhee

Five years ago, I submitted a column “Writers on Writing,” which led with quotes from famous writers and closed with a bit of background on how I came to be a nonfiction writer. Two of the quotes: “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.” (Somerset Maugham) and “I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.” (James Michener)
ALABAMA STATE
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