Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Writers' meme

...I have been tagged. By name. And by URL. Someone who I thought was my friend, Janna at Something She Wrote - *sniff* - has left me with no place to hide. I am therefore obliged to come out, fearful and trembling, and participate in this thing. I have been summoned to:

1. Link back to the person who tagged me
2. List three things I believe are necessary to make writing good and powerful
3. Tag five other people via comment

So, at the risk of seeming pretentious, here goes. My advice is worth every penny you paid for it.

1. Face your fears. Are you afraid to start, for fear you won't have enough ideas? Start anyway, and you'll learn where ideas come from. Are you afraid to put your character in certain circumstances because of what it might stir up, both for the character and for you? Do it. You'll find an emotional energy there that you wouldn't by staying safe. Do you feel that anything you write will be pure and utter dreck? Write anyway. When you read back, it is usually difficult to tell which parts were written under "inspiration" and which under "perspiration". Your subjective feelings before you start have little or nothing to do with the quality of what's produced.

2. Be humble. Don't think that the gods speak through your fingers. They don't. Even if you are brimming with talent, there's still a lot to learn. Even if you've published ten books, it is entirely possible to go stale. (It happens all the time.) Be open to constructive criticism, be willing to learn.

3. Don't describe emotions. Put us in the skin of the character so that we feel them. Let the situation call forth the emotions. Don't tell the reader what he/she should be feeling.

I am tagging in return:
David Isaak at Tomorrowville
Edward Willett at Hassenpfeffer
Patricia Wood at Orion
J.M. McDermott at his eponymous blog
Jeffrey Overstreet at The Looking Closer Journal


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4 comments:

ORION said...

Hey hey hey!! I ALREADY got this one !!!
Check my posts!
Mwa ha ha ha ha...

Janet said...

My bad. That was a good month ago... I don't think walruses can remember that far back.

little navigator said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Janet.

Janna said...

See? That wasn't so bad. Was it?

Nicely done!

 

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