Monday, December 15, 2008

The Eleventh and Tenth Day's of Christmas: A Gift for Writers

Okay, so I think maybe I was a day behind when I started. What else is new?

These two gifts go hand-in-hand anyway.


There is a school of thought that writers should not read in the genre in which they write, because they'll start sounding like the book they're reading.


Somewhere in Stephen King's On Writing he talks about new writers kind of copying the styles of other writers. (If I had this book in Kindle, I could find it, but I don't, so phooey. Trust me, it's in there.) And King says that's just fine. The more we write (see the first gift), the more we develop our own voice. Our own style. He also says somewhere to beware the tag line "In the manner of so-and-so" or something to that effect. As a writer or a reader, it can only lead to disappointment. I guess, being Stephen King, he can afford to take that position. (I almost wrote "stand" but that would've been a bit much, don't you think?)

Read fiction. What a wonderful gift.

I may not always dissect what I'm reading, but I know subconsciously good stuff is seeping in through the cracks in my brain, of which there are plenty. There's no danger of my head getting plugged up with too much knowledge.

Here's the Tenth Day gift: Be a student.

I love online groups of writers who share information. I love critique partners who are honest and tough and loving all at the same time. I love reading books on craft. I love reading magazine articles about writing.

I remember (it wasn't too long ago) when a certain aspect of writing came up in one of my groups, and I smugly thought it didn't apply to me. Two months later, I realized it did. Always be a student.

I'm not looking for a profession where I can know everything at some point, and perfect my skills. If I were, it would not be writing. There is no such thing as knowing it all.

CR: A Whole New Life by Betsy Thornton.

Working on: I need a good winter picture for my blog banner. Any ideas?

It's all better with friends.

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