In Your Own Words
More Tips For New Writers (Part I)
Explain in your own words
Familiar phrase? Yes, we have all heard it many times in many different situations. This little phrase is used to convey subtly different meanings depending upon the circumstances in which it is used. At school, the teacher means "Don't just copy chunks out of a book; show me you can write an essay". In an examination the words mean "Prove that you understand the question and know the answer". On an insurance claim form it means "Tell us what happened from your point of view". From a Judge it means "Tell the truth without embellishment".
What do all these people have in common? They want to hear what you know, what you think about things. They don't want something you have copied from somebody else, they don't want regurgitated chunks of something learned by rote, they don't want to hear somebody else's words repeated, they don't want to hear excuses. They want to hear what you have to say. They want honesty.
Honesty is the best policy
If you want to write, you must learn to write honestly. By this I do not mean that it is essential for you to always tell the unvarnished truth (this article is not about personal development: it is about writing and moral debate has no place here). I mean use your own words, your own style, your own "voice". Do not try to imitate a writer you admire. Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery. That may be true enough but most imitations turn out to be poor copies of the original item. Make your writing the real deal; don't give people the chance to say: "He's that guy who tries to write like Stephen King". Believe me, they won't mean it as a compliment; what they are really saying is: "He's that guy who tries to write like Stephen King but fails and (snigger, snigger) he doesn't realise it". Being honest has the undoubted advantage that it saves you having to remember what lies you told previously. It should also make you feel good and that's a bonus.
There have, of course, been instances where an unknown artist has created a painting in the style of a master and the work had been painted so skilfully that experts declared it to be authentic. Remember, though, the forger had skill of his own in the first place. Whether you are forging a masterpiece or a bank note, you need to possess skill as well as the appropriate tools. If you are new to writing, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to manage a convincing imitation of a famous author's style. Indeed, you will probably find it difficult to even begin to analyse what makes a particular author's writing uniquely personal. Writing "in the style of" can be a valuable exercise for trainee writers but it should only ever be an exercise, not a substitute for authenticity. If you have what it takes to be a writer, get out there, write and make sure your fingerprints are all over your work declaring it to be yours and yours alone.
No, not the computer software type: the type that happens when Joe `phones a friend. Joe says: "Hello." and the friend instantly says "Hi, Joe." If you write as yourself, your loyal readers will reach the stage where they recognise your work from reading a fragment without needing any clue from a by-line.
If you have something interesting to say, there is no need to put on a phoney voice (unless your intention is to make your audience laugh). You will probably not get to be President if you make all your speeches in the style of Homer Simpson. If you decide to put your message in writing, you should write it in your own words and in your own way. When you write, you have your own voice and you should not try to disguise it. Allow your audience to hear your voice and become familiar with it. Of course not everybody will like your voice one hundred percent all of the time: there is not one thing in this world which is liked by everybody always.
None of us is perfect
I don't mean this in terms of never making a mistake: I just mean that, as human beings we all have imperfections. Keats says "Beauty is truth, truth beauty". I heartily concur but imperfections are, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder; a matter of personal taste. What is a blemish to you might be an endearing feature to me. There are also degrees of imperfection. A minor imperfection in an otherwise excellent work may be overlooked. A similar imperfection in bad piece of work might be the final straw which prompts the reader to throw the book across the room and vow never to read anything else by that author.
Whilst reading works of horror fiction by some of my favourite fiction writers, I have found the repeated use of certain words irritating; for some reason I dislike the use of "umbra" and "orb" in place of shadow and eyeball. (The subject matter of these books is of necessity dark and grisly things frequently happen to eyes.) As the remainder of the work is perfection (in my orbs, anyway) I am able to forgive this minor irritation and still eagerly anticipate each new publication by these authors. Other readers might be impressed by the use of these alternative nouns or not even notice them. Whatever your imperfection might be, never ever compound it with sloppiness. You cannot help being less than perfect, that is part of being human; there is no excuse for offering sloppy workmanship.
This is one of a series of articles published by the author, Elaine Currie, BA(Hons)at http://www.huntingvenus.comThe author's monthly newsletter is available free from mailto:networkerhvm@ReportsNetwork.com
Local Knowledge: Background and Historical Setting in Novels
You're writing a story set in your local city, but one hundred years in the past. How can you recreate the feel of the past in your words of the present? Local knowledge, that's how. And how do you get this sort of knowledge when your characters were walking around one hundred years ago and you're situated well and truly in the 21st century? Exploration on foot, a reliable camera and a willingness to stand on a street corner and imagine everything and everybody as it was in the past.
Eight Ways To Write Your Novel Faster
I asked several writers how long it took them to write a novel they wanted published. One woman writer made a frustrated face at me, a couple others just stared at me (their novel wasn't finished yet), and a few just stared.
To Tell If You Are A Literary Snob
"I don't know if I should put 'writer' on my business card," I murmured.
What Is The Single Worst Mistake Most People Make When Writing Classified Ads?
All sales begin with some form of advertising whether it's word of mouth or printed media or even electronic. To build sales, this advertising must be seen or heard by potential buyers. It must cause them to also react to the advertising in a positive some way. Your success or failure reverts back to the ad itself. Generally, you want your classified ad to do one of the following:
You Cant Always Believe What You See On Your Computer Screen
You may not remember this, but in the early days of the personal computer, many industry insiders were predicting a paperless society.
The Opportunities As A Freelance Proofreader in the UK
A UK based freelance proofreader should be able to provide quality products for the United Kingdom audience. There are many differences in the type of work that is produced for the United States and that which is produced for the United Kingdom. The job of the proof reader is virtually the same as it is for those who do proof reading in the United States, but the language is what the tricky aspect is. Freelance proofreader opportunities are available, and wildly sought after as well.
Mexican Living: Pasatiempo
It occurred to me one day that I needed something to do with my time when I wasn't writing. You know--something to divert myself so more writing ideas could come to mind. One cannot sit in front of the computer screen all day waiting for an idea to come knocking at the door and say,
How To Filter Description Through Your Characters
How do you describe a scene without slowing down the pace of your novel? What do you include? What do you leave out? Here's a neat trick: use your own experiences as a guide.
Frequently Asked Questions from Writers
1. What Is A Premise?
You Dont Need Inspiration!
Or do you?
Realize Your Book Dream In 2005!
If you haven't realized the success you wanted last year, here's a way to reap the harvest with 86% improvement!
How to Build A Success Freelance Career (Part 1)
In the current job market, many editorial workers have turned to freelancing as a matter of survival. I receive many queries from applicants regarding how to go about freelancing.
New York Code Orange Jaisini New Art Series
The creativity of Jaisini is not designed to be preaching or too critical. Paul Jaisini reached his level of mastership to know exactly that life is worth living to look in the future having no regrets about the past.
Arouse Your Short Story And See It Published
Are you ready to abandon your short stories? Before you toss your newest story in the trash, revisit it using many of the same guidelines editors keep in mind when they review your work. If you follow these guidelines, you will be many steps closer to placing your short story in a well-known literary journal.
Ten Quick Tips for Inexperienced Writers
One of the biggest problems that inexperienced writers have is simply knowing how to get started. If you've unsure of your writing skills, then here are some quick tips to help you get started.
Five Minute Miracles
FIVE MINUTES ... Is All You Need ........to phone a friend ..... peel potatoes for dinner ..... pick the kids up from school ..... or write a few words that could earn you anything from a plastic pinny or ballpoint pen, to a dream house in the sun, a top-of-the-range sports car, or thousands of dollars in cash and luxury goods!
Create the Writing Life You Want
Ah, writing. For those of us who love to play with words, it's like standing in front of a smorgasbord, agonising over which delicacies to try. You can potter about with your writing as a thoroughly delightful hobby - writing wedding speeches, penning dreadful doggerel for people's birthdays, or writing stories to entertain your children. Or you can work at it, hour after hour, determined that your book is going to be the next bestseller. You can choose the writing life that's perfect for you now, then change direction later, as your circumstances change and your experience grows.
Using Metaphor Effectively
We've all heard a politician on their soapbox, pushing for some policy change or cleaning up after a scandal. Some will cut out a sharp point, while others leave the audience in bewilderment. You can often thank - or blame - the use of metaphor for the outcome of a speech.
Mind Mapping Your Journal Entries
Clustering, also called Mind Mapping, is a great way to savespace and time when you journal. For those of you thataren't familiar with Mind Mapping, you can search in Googleon the words or reading one of Tony Buzan's (the creator)books. At the end I've included the ten basic rules of MindMapping.
Multiplying Sales As A Writer
Often, time is an enemy of writers. Sales seem slow andchecks too small. How does one make the most of theireffort? Here are some tips that will multiply your sales.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|