Speechwriting odds, and storytelling ends

Vital Speeches editor cleans out his files, passes a few gems along.

I've been holding onto this stuff too long. But before I threw them out, I wanted to pass them on:

Fine speeches? That’s old-school vocab. According to a young communication correspondent, it’s now “top-notch speaking content” we’re after.

Speaking of top-notch speaking content: “A speech is not a literary composition,” said Dick Goodwin, speechwriter to JFK, RFK and LBJ. “It is an event, not to please the exegesis of language, but to move men to action or alliance.”

She sounds like lots of speechwriting clients we know. “I hate writing stories,” said novelist Jenni Diski, who died last month. “I hate plot. I hate characters. I just know that I have to have them or I think I have to have them, but they’re not really what I want to be writing about.”

And finally, there’s one dusty item here in my file that says only, “Ed Sprinkle, plus Big Daddy Lipscomb plus Bulldog Turner.” I have no idea what that means, but I feel it speaks for itself and I thought I’d pass it along. —DM

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