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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Spero

The Scribe

The way I see it, writing is more than a profession; it’s a calling. It’s an exploration for the exact nouns to define a subject and a journey for adjectives might best describe them. It’s a mission for the most precise verb for an action and the best adverb to specify it. How can I take a procession of these acutely accurate terms and add literary device, flow and a compelling narrative that grips readers? That’s where we as a society need a scribe. A scribe is the one who runs toward the madness of life and the absurdity of historical events in the same way that a firefighter would run toward a fire.

Think about it, how do we divide the prehistoric period from modern history? Modern history is the history we’ve been able to record. And who recorded it? The scribe. In Sumer, the earliest known civilization from around 10,000 years ago, writers were considered crucial, because it was they who kept records and documented proclamations. How have we been able to learn so much about the ancient Egyptians? From those who wrote hieroglyphics. Who documented the history of kings and dynasties and their braided rule in time with religions throughout the world? The scribe, that’s who; the ones of us from amongst the oldest of professions.

Writing is storytelling, and the refinement of it is no different than any other high-end artisanal creation. Done right and it’s as satisfying as a finely aged Grand Cru, but miss the mark and you’ve fermented rancid vinegar. Each element has to be considered carefully for a master-level conception. For wine you’d contemplate everything from the variety of grapes to the soil type and climate, to the winemaking process, fermentation and labels for the bottling. For a writer it's thinking through the characters, setting and plot, through to the narrative arc, thematic style and resolution. What’s the voice? Who gets a point of view? What would be most unexpected and entertaining to readers?

The conveyance of a story is meaningful. It is a record. It’s a part of history. It’s lasting. It’s the silent symphony of a wordsmith. Whether parable or allegory, saga or novelette, sonnet or yarn, myth or report; dramatic, thematic, informative or tort, the writer seeks pinpoint word accuracy with the ever-evolving style of a Miles Davis career arc.

And at 44, the age when Miles released Bitches Brew, there’s still a few more epics to go. So we write.

Daniel Spero, Creative Director Metro Writers

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