Monday, February 27, 2012

Breaking Down Writing

I've been so busy, and I'm so tired, but I'm gonna punch out this blog post because if I don't now, I probably won't blog for the entire week. I'm trying to keep up with my Google reader, but time hasn't allowed.

All things considered, work, college, writing in two separate projects, and picking a future college to transfer to, I've been contemplating how writing is done as of late during the in between times.

What is writing? I ask this in a sense of whether there is a right or wrong way to do it. Many people who write say they don't know what they're doing, Stephen King says creative writing can't be taught, that what is learned in writing is learned through reading. I've recently read reviews that tear apart JK Rowling's style and say she doesn't have an ounce of talent. I even read that she, "writes like a twelve year old wishes they could". There are millions of Twilight fans who love the books and say they're fantastic, yet there are just as many that say the writing is horrible. Many people love the Hunger Games, yet I couldn't get myself into the story because of the weird past/present writing style.

Is there really a proper way to write something?

There is a certain order in which a story is told. But when it comes to how a story is told, how do we know what we're talking about? How do we know we're doing it right? A key thing I've been told often about writing is show don't tell. Yet when I read Vince Flynn, all he did was tell. I hated him for it, it made his book boring and aggravating, yet he's a bestseller.

There are several forms of writing out there that's extremely generic. Michael Scott is one who comes to mind. He wrote The Alchemyst (along with several other books connected to it). The characters were interesting, so was the use of historical figures and magic, but the standard writing really bothered me (plus his obsessive use of 'that'. Grrrrr).

I plot, I write, I day dream, and yet, there are times where I write my story and think "this sucks, it won't work, I'm losing my edge". But what is that edge? As far as I'm concerned, there are writers out there who are far worse than me and they are making decent money doing what they're doing. Maybe I'm being conceited, but I've read enough crap to know I stand a chance in the industry.

We all go through a period where we feel we can't hack it. A point in our writing where we feel we should give up because we think (for whatever reason) that we won't be able to write the piece the way we want to. Don't give into the voice telling you this. Chances are your story is much better than you're giving it credit for, chances are your story is actually quite good. A real writer can pick him or herself up after they feel down because they want to keep writing, because they don't know what else they'd do it they didn't. If paltry writers like Vince Flynn can do it, there's no doubt you can. One thing to remember about writing, it's all subjective. If you happen to publish a story you think is below your own ability, you may find people will love what you've published.

So sit down and write. Tell yourself to shut up when you begin to doubt. Don't worry about how you write, as long as you're telling a good story, who cares?

Keep Writing



  1. I totally agree with this post. Everyone has those moments of doubt, it's what you do after them that counts. As for style, we can only write in that which suits us, there will always be lovers - and haters :-)

  2. I like a straight-forward, keep-going-damnit kind of blog post. :) And I completely agree - it's so subjective that it's ridiculous. Belief in yourself is what carries you through.