Monday, February 26, 2007

Accepting Your Writing Style

Once again, a post for fellow writers, kind of, something to think about, next time you set out to writing:

Do you accept your writing style? Many writers do not. If fact, it is far too common a thing for a writer to strive to write like someone else. Do you love Poe? Are you frustrated when you strain yourself for hours trying to write just like Poe did, only to find yourself sounding more like Dr. Seuss? Do you respond by throwing your piece away and starting again? Why?

Why what?

Why did you throw your piece away?

Oh, that? Well, it didn’t sound like Poe.

Are you Poe?

No, but…

Yes, that‘s right: No buts allowed. You are not Poe. You never well be Poe.

But I love Poe, his stories are so…

Yes, I know! I love Poe too. His stories are wonderful. But Poe is dead. And he is not you. You are not he. You are you. No one else can be you but you. You are the only you the world well ever see. Poe was the only Poe there ever was. There well never be another Poe. There well be millions who strive to be Poe, but they well all fail, because no one but Poe can really be Poe. The sooner you accept that only Poe was Poe and only you are you, the quicker you well move past all this and become the writer you were truly ment to be: you.

But…

Uh! I said no buts! You are not Poe. You are YOU. There is no one else who can be you. You are special. There is no one else like you. YOU are the only one like you. Others may even try to be like you, but only you can be you. Poe cannot be you. You cannot be Poe. Poe was the only person who could write the poems and stories hidden deep within the heart and soul of Poe. Only YOU can create the stories and poems hidden deep within you. Accept yourself for who you are.

But, Poe…

Did Poe try to be like you?

No of course not! Poe was Poe. He didn’t try to be like anyone. He was a unique individual. He didn’t try to be like no one. He was just himself… he…

Ah! Did you hear what you just said? Poe was himself. He didn’t try to be like you. He didn’t try to be like Tennyson. He didn’t try to be like Shakespeare. He didn’t try to be like anyone. Poe was himself. Poe was different, Poe was unique. Poe has his own style. HIS OWN STYLE. Not a style he copied off someone else, but a style he created. That is why Poe stood out. That is why you like him. Because he did his own thing. Because he never did what other people did. Because he developed his own style and ran with it, instead of trying to copy someone else, gosh darn the consequences.

The lesson here? Be yourself. Don’t try to copy others, it never works, you can never be anyone other than who you were born to be. Develop your own style. People well love you for it. Someday, you well be a classic, and a hundred years from now, your stories well be on the shelf along side your heroes, and people well be striving to copy you and your style. Accept yourself for who you are and you shall truly shine like the bright star you really are.

What is your writing’s biggest flaw? • No Comments (Edit)
This is sort of a self-searching exercise for all you fellow writers out there. The topic of which is the question: What is your writings biggest flaw?

The question is inspired by the fact, that all to often, we as writers look at our work as absolutely perfect. You know you do. Admit it. You do it, I do it, we all do it. It a flaw that all writers have and none can escape. We think that everything we write is perfect. We think that everyone well love it. Our kind, often goes so far as to think that it is so perfect that we don’t need to edit it past the first draft. We write the first draft and say: “Ah huh! This is perfect!”

We are a strange breed, driven to write, yet compleded to igrore the act of editing what we write. We well sit at the computer for hours, days, weeks, even month, typing out our heart and soul. Than without editing it we send it off, and quickly get a rejection slip. We become degected, paranoid, hurt, angery. What went wrong here? Well, we as writers, can get so blinded by how great we think our story is, that we forget to look for any flaws in it. I think this is prob’ly the most common mistake made by ever single writer to ever exist.

So, my exercise today is, to take something you have written, recently or in the far past, a one page poem or a three hundred page novel, fiction or non-fiction. It doesn’t matter what it is or when you wrote it, just take it and look at it. Really look at it. Look at it as though you were the toughest editor the world has ever known. Look for flaws in it. Take a red pen and cross out everything that shouldn’t be there: everything, from extra adjectives and adverbs, to the compound sentence that should have been two separate sentences, the prepositions that aren’t really needed… anything. Kill the passive voice. Correct spelling errors. Get rid of characters that do not add to the story. Cross out the don’ts and replace them with do nots instead. Cut scenes that are not one hundred percent nessacery. When you are done, your script will be bleeding red ink, but don’t do not worry about that. Take a careful look at the things you have crossed out. Why did you cross them out? How could you have written them better? Did you notice that you are crossing out the same mistake again and again? Chances are, you well find two or three mistakes that have been repeated throughout your writing. Take note of these. They are the areas on which you well need to work the hardest to correct.

I could continue, by telling you how to correct each flaw, but I well not, because that is not the point pf this article. The point of this article is to find the flaws, not correct them. You can correct them later, but you can’t correct them if yo have not looked for them. You want to improve your writing skills, but you can not improve something that is perfect can you? So the first thing you must do, is to realize that your writing is not perfect, no ones is. All writing has its good points. All writing has its bad points. Every writer has talent. Every writer has flaws. Your goal here is to look for the bad, and make it good. Once you can see the flaws, than you can correct them. In the end, your writing well be all the better for it. Besides, the better your writing is, the better your pay well be too.

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