Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Determined Writer

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

There comes a time in a writer’s life when you become determined to succeed. Success is never put into a measuring cup and told X amount of writing is just right. No, you need determination to keep on going even if the fruits of your labor are not paying off.

Writers need to read and they need to read a lot. I don’t just mean to read fiction from the classic genre to the contemporary authors of today but also they need to read about the craft of writing.

You might ask, "What can I learn from someone else who is already published?" Well for one you can learn style, rhythm, and all sorts of good things like suspense, how they built up a character, introduced a character and how they brought the character to life for you, the reader.

From your fellow author you can learn what it is in your writing that will carry a novel or short story. You might learn that your story is not going anywhere and by reading, you might see where you’ve gone wrong. "Did I give enough suspense?" " Did I build a conflict?" "Did I give a satisfactory ending?"

All of these questions can be asked if you read! Become a detective and dig up all of the clues that make this author so special. Reading is an essential part of becoming a writer. Why did you become a writer to begin with? Was it because you read a book and thought, "Hey, I can do that?" Or did a novel leave you unsatisfied and maybe you said, "I can do it better?"

Once you’ve mastered reading, you then become an analytical reader. You’ll find yourself liking and disliking certain things that a writer does with their writing. Find what his/her style, metaphors, too much imagery, not enough imagery is keeping you reading. Maybe take notes of what you liked and keep them handy for when you write on your own.

If you’re hitting stumbling blocks in your own writing, look to other writer’s to aid you in accomplishing this dream of yours. It is through the authors, published or not, that will move you toward your goal. And then it is time to really sink your teeth into writing and have the determination of an athlete. Imagine yourself going for the Gold in an Olympic dream.

Be determined to not only be a reader but to be a writer, a PUBLISHED writer. Homework people, it’s all about doing your homework. You can’t just write for a year and give up. You’re not showing determination in giving up. You need to daily, and I do mean daily, work at bringing this dream alive. I won’t allow weekly or monthly writing. A true writer KNOWS what he needs to do. So what do you say?


1 comment:

June said...

Have I mentioned that I L-O-V-E!!! Ray Bradbury?

(I just had to get that in...)

I love that Bradbury quote.

Maybe we should form a 12 step program for writers who need to STAY DRUNK on words? *GRIN*

I'm delighted you mentioned "rhythm" as that's something many writers ignore. There's the rhythm of the words and how they're put together, the rhythm of the characters as they met, mingle, and part. The rhythm of various conflicts and how they play against and with each other. The rhythm and force of the setting and how that sparks and drums away to create mood and reflect character emotions...and on it goes....

A final thought: Each one of us can learn from each other, no matter if we're published or not, and no matter how long or how short a time we've studied the craft of writing.

Take care!