Friday, May 4, 2012

Making Noise with Your Writing

Going to try to get into the grove of blogging regularly again. College has ended for summer and now I have more free time, but I can't really think of what to blog about without feeling I've been reiterating the same thing. I try to focus on writing when blogging, but I only know so much, and there is only so much I can say before I just start speaking my opinion. I could talk about this, that, and the other, but in the end; writing is usually just about instinct and following what you feel is right.

Regardless, I'm going to talk about writing anyway. And yes, it will be my opinion, because damn it, I have something to say! :)

Sent out some of my short stories to be published and I'm still waiting to get a reply from some. I have two more stories I should finish so I can submit them as well. One of them is quite good too. I did get a couple rejections though. One of them said: "It wasn't quite the right fit." For whatever that was worth, I figured I would just keep plugging away.

The biggest quest for a writer is to find a place for themselves in an already heavily crowded creative department. I have mentioned this before, but there is a lot bad writing out there, and if those folks can make it, you can make it to. But how do you? Well, you need to do a couple things. First, do you remember my previous blog post? You know, the ones that had the six rules of success? If you do, gold star for you! If not, well, check out my previous blog post, I'm only going to highlight which ones apply to writing.

1.) Break the Rules
Yes, my first rule is breaking the rules. My first Creative Writing teacher eventually became more of a hindrance than helpful. She believed everything had to follow rules. That stories were meant to follow guidelines and formulas. Once again, this goes back to what I mentioned before: if the story is good, who gives a damn how the story is put together?

I wrote a story called Hellhound, which was a combination of journal entries, audio logs, third person narration and newspaper articles. I sent it to a sci-fi/horror writer to look over and she basically didn't like it. She did have some points; said the writing needed to be tighter. However, when I sent the story to a couple other folks, they thought the story was really good, needed some more editing, but good. What's the point you ask?


This leads me to my second rule.

2.) Don't be Afraid to Fail
As far as I'm concerned, anything that is creative is going to get a lot of rejection. Because let's face it, while the arts is the best form of self expression, it's just another form of entertainment for most folks. In order to write a story that breaks the rules and hasn't been written before, you have to shed your fear that the story might not work. You just have to take the dive. No matter how crazy the story might be. As long as you believe what you're writing is good, keep pushing, someone will like the story enough to publish it. You can't let your fear prevent you from breaking out of the format striving for originality.

3.) Write like You've Been In the Industry
This is my own rule and in my opinion, the most important. No matter what kind of story you're writing or the approach you're taking, you have to write with a level of arrogance. Don't act with arrogance though, read what you can, edit what you can get your hands on, listen to other writer's advice; but when you sit down and write your story. Write like you've been doing it for years. Use bold words, take chances, don't hold back your punches. Editors and publishers are looking for stories that will grab them by their white collars and slap them around and then pull them in. Treat your first novel much like the opening song of an album. Something that will grip the reader and want them to read more. Start with something explosive, whatever that may be. But write with power, purpose, and confidence.
4.) Trust Yourself
All of the previous coincide with trusting yourself. If you don't do that, none of these rules will work. If you don't, then maybe you should dig deep inside and decide if writing is what you want to do.

5.) Work Your Ass Off
Writing isn't a glamorous job, it's not even fun most of the time. Those who love telling stories will say there is a lot heavy lifting involved. If you want to write and make a living; you have to prove it by rolling up your sleeves and digging in your heels, because no one is going to notice unless you work your ass off.

The amount of opportunities this country has to offer is incredible, and they're there for the taking. It just depends on how much work you're willing to put into your goals/dreams to achieve them. But if you trust yourself, and don't give a shit about what others say, you will reach your goals, no matter how narrow the field is.

So when you sit down in front of that nasty blank page, think of something that will grab the reader's attention by saying: "Hey you! Yeah you! Get over here, I have a story to tell so sit down and listen up!"

So break the rules, don't be afraid to fail, write with purpose, trust yourself, and work like hell. You will succeed.


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