Moments of Writing Genius

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Sommer Leigh
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Moments of Writing Genius

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 24th, 2012, 10:57 am

Last night I flexed my geek muscles and right after work my husband, friends, and I took a two and a half hour car trip to another state to see the special Star Trek Next Generation 25th Anniversary presentation of two remastered episodes from the first season of the show.

With the two episodes we also watched behind the scenes commentary on the making of the show, the work that went into remastering the show, and interviews with the actors then and now.


One of the pieces they spent a lot of time on was the making of the opening sequence, so I listened to Patrick Stewart read his monologue over and over, and every time it gave me goosebumps. That monologue is writing genius. Poetry in a few simple lines. Whenever I hear agents and editors talk about looking for an opening that grabs then, that produces dramatic tension and not necessarily with explosions and action action...this monologue is what I think about. I have it hanging by my office desk. It just..encapsulates a whole franchise of storytelling so perfectly and does so with such intensity and beauty.

"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

So I was thinking - what other pieces of writing carry this much universal power? Why do they make you feel the way you do?
May the word counts be ever in your favor.
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Re: Moments of Writing Genius

Post by dios4vida » July 24th, 2012, 11:23 am

I do love that opening. When Leonard Nimoy did it at the end of the new Star Trek movie I got all goosebumpy, too.

I don't have any specific moments like that off the top of my head, but I've been reading The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay and oh my gosh, that man has the most impacting, lyrical writing. I don't normally go for literary type books but the two I've enjoyed - this and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - are up there on my top list of most-amazing-books-ever. That writing was sheer genius and I continually found myself absolutely spellbound by them.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Moments of Writing Genius

Post by LurkingVirologist » July 24th, 2012, 11:48 pm

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." William Gibson, Neuromancer. Still my favorite opening line of all time. It encapsulated everything about the world and characters he created. I'm still reminded of it every time it gets cloudy.

"It's too bad she won't live, but then again who does?" Bladerunner. There are dramatically different ways to interpret this line, just like the whole bloody film. Awesome.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

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Re: Moments of Writing Genius

Post by Beethovenfan » July 25th, 2012, 3:32 am

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Sleeping Beauty
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Re: Moments of Writing Genius

Post by Sleeping Beauty » July 25th, 2012, 6:24 am


Perfect writing, beautiful lilting voice, and a precursor that draws you in while simultaneously summarising the entire story. Similiar to the Star Trek monologue, if only in a roundabout way.

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Re: Moments of Writing Genius

Post by Hillsy » July 25th, 2012, 7:49 am

"With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels..."

Ding! 10 points

....Actually I just really love that it genius? Probably not.

I think probably those wonderful moments where things really effect you through writing are quite transient things. You feel the sharp spark of them at the time and then they sort of fade away until the conditions are right for them to hit again. Stuff you like and remember isn't necessarily genius, just memorable - like a catchy pop song. Getting unexpectedly gut-punched the first time you hear something is an amazing thing, but it isn't guaranteed to be remembered.

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Re: Moments of Writing Genius

Post by CharleeVale » July 25th, 2012, 2:05 pm

One of my favorites is from A Handmaid's Tale: "I crave to commit the act of touch."


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Re: Moments of Writing Genius

Post by Shipple » July 25th, 2012, 8:10 pm

So I was just making my signature line, so I probably just have Harry Potter on the brain, but since the Harry Potter books are probably the most beloved books of present times, I think they're a nature fit for this topic.

"After all this time?" [asked Dumbledore]
"Always," said Snape.

It's at this point that you can really start to imagine what Snape's life must have been like, and it breaks your heart.
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
Me: and

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