There are too many books that I have trudged through in my life to tolerate bad writing. Too many good books exist and let’s face it, how many books does one have time to read in the very short time that we have here?
As a writer, I craft the story much like so many other writers in that there are twist and turns, and I try to throw predictability out the window. One of my friends compared my “style” to Stephen King! I am not sure that is a good thing but, it is what it is.
I try not to worry with technicalities as I write. Those will get sorted out in the editing phase.
When I write a story, it is as if someone somewhere out in the “ethos” is dictating it to me. As I write, I too am enthralled with the story. The story takes on a life of its own and therefor interruptions cannot be tolerated.
When I craft the words, I am painting a picture. As an artist I know all too well what has to go into a painting to make it interesting so, when I paint with words, I too know how to create a picture that will form in the readers head.
From the dead flies in the windowsill, the flickering fluorescent light that comes to life with a snapping buzzing sound, and the smell of an un-flushed toilette; you suddenly remember each and every “not clean” bathroom that you have been forced to use, at some time in your life.
Even my beloved muse, a Russian Blue who has yet to learn the meaning of “no,” has to leave as he too disturbs the process, by trying to chase the words as they trudge across the screen.
One of my writer friends goes off to remote cabins and waits for “the mood” to strike, and then sleep will not get into her way, as the thought process gels, the pages turn into marching characters and symbols that systematically stop and start as the process of transformation of thought to text, occurs.
Many of you here who follow me are writers, and it is to you who I am addressing the following.
We share a common bond and while we don’t personally “know” one another, we do know each other through this medium.
“If you want to get to know someone, you read their book.”
While the story may be as fictional as “Never-Never Land,” it is also, to many of us, our “happy place.”
Character development is a struggle for me. As a man I can develop the female character and paint a nice picture. Realistically, I have developed her from what I “see” and know of women. Doing so for the male character is somewhat of a challenge as I don’t look at men, as women do. I can however; capture the logic and thought processes of men much easier, as I am one. The emotional side of the female is a stretch for me.
There are all kinds of readers out there, so character development should be such that whoever is reading your words, should be able to “know” your character.
As a writer, I feel a personal loss when I “kill off” a character. As a reader, I feel that same loss when the book is over.
Currently, I am working on a trilogy and it is because the story material is that entertaining to me, that I could not end it with one book. The characters have taken a life unto their own; and I suspect most of the writers out there know exactly what I am talking about.
Writing cannot be forced.
Mechanically you can write and if you remember your English class’s where that was the case, the stories that you wrote were for the purpose of dissecting your usage of nouns and verbs and punctuation, not for creativity. Sentence structure was so damned important!
Screw the rules!
Weaving a tapestry of intersecting thoughts, while making it all grammatically correct is to me a true Rembrandt. I don’t think being a grammatical and creative savant, is something that you can simply ask of someone, who does not share the passion of writing.
Painting is much the same way. When painting, I am lost in the painting. Each and every brush stroke has to be perfect. The smaller the painting; the more flawless the brush stroke must be.
Write to please yourself. Making it grammatically acceptable is something that can be accomplished after the creative process is done.
Painting and writing is “me time.”
Sometimes, I feel a little selfish when I carve out “me time.”
As an artist, you will not get rich by your efforts, unless of course you are doing it for some large publication and it is mechanical. One of my Artist friends has her work re-produced on greeting cards, puzzles, and other things that people purchase in gift shops around the world. Every so often a check will appear for a few hundred dollars. She has no way of knowing how many actual unites were actually sold however.
I have also concluded that many feel that if they can just finish their book, they will get rich. Too many out there “self-publish” and the only people making money “for the most part” are the folks who offer that service.
Lastly, and why I write this is; “write to please yourself.”
If your end goal is money, your writing will be forced and not genuine. Much like doing a story for some professor to “grade.”
Immersion into the story, taking time to reflect, re-read and edit, and re-read again for the flow of the words is tantamount to making the story your own.
- I will offer one free tip on the editing process for you, a trick that I figured out.
There are “services” that will edit your manuscript for you for who even knows how much money.
Purchase the latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking with the text to speech option.
One paragraph at a time: have it read it, to you.
Go and edit that paragraph until it sounds right and then go onto the next. When reading your own writing your mind tends to skip over the “you” instead of the “your” or the “the the” mistake that I see too often. When writing, your words are punctuated with gaps as the thought process starts and stops. That is when the “the the’s” occur or other anomalies that your professor in college would have a hay day with their “Fucking Red Pen or F.R.P.!” Of course, there were no computers in my day so possibly, this process would be easier.
I don’t mean to belittle writing classes. Don’t get me wrong. Finding a professor that is passionate about their job, and what they are doing is a true goldmine. Finding someone that will constructively criticize your work and offer suggestions is great. Finding folks who are genuine, and are there without the need to equivocate for their personal aggrandizement is a definite plus.
There are writing “clubs” where others will read your works or have you read excerpts to the others in the group and they all cumulatively have something to offer. There may be a pearl of wisdom that you can take away, even if you simply listen to their work and what the others have to say. I have seen some however; who are so haughty, that just about anything that they said was dismissed without taking the time to weigh it on its merits. It was almost as if they were there to build themselves up, at your expense.
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Staylor at Guard-protect.com
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