Hello, fellow campaigners of the writing world! This week, I want to talk about how I’m growing as a writer. And still, I won’t be perfect by the end of this article, but that’s the beauty of writing–there is always something to learn.
Change of Perspective
I believe that the writing community can swing to extremes often. Looking back to the 1800s-1900s, the popular authors would “head jump” by reading the thoughts of every character instead of just one like modern culture. Now, it’s looked down upon to do that and often is portrayed as bad writing. But I don’t think that’s true. Even though I personally don’t write with that style, some of the most iconic books have this: Lord of the Rings, Anne of Green Gables, and one not as popular, the Ranger’s Apprentice. These are some my favorite books. The writing styles are VASTLY different but are so beautiful in their own ways. I believe they are excellent writers–but they use head jumping in their writing.
I think that people get too stuck on writing techniques instead of story-telling techniques. I don’t think readers will pick up a book because someone followed every writing tip to perfection. People pick up books because of the story. The characters. The setting. I’m kinda tired of people getting on writers for not following the “writing rules.” Writing is an expression of self, so let them do it.
I’m not saying that following rules is bad. I think we should know the rules so we know WHY they are used and then toss them out when necessary. Grammar is important. But if I had a choice of a perfectly “written” book with a boring plot and an exciting plot with head-jumping, I’ll choose the latter any day. I’m reading to escape. I like plot and characters, not words so much.
Telling versus Showing
This is something that I’ve always struggled with. I think it’s important to show rather than tell cuz it does make the reader feel stupid if you’re explaining everything. But, if you’re describing everything all the time, I get overwhelmed. Sometimes I like to read “She was mad,” instead of “the veins in her head throbbed as she clenched her fist.” Practicality is also important. This brings me to my next point.
Too Many Bland Words
So when it comes to when I’m writing, I noticed that I often do it blandly or with too many words. For example, I could write “I looked over at Nancy who was furiously knitting a scarf.” But I can easily rewrite it as “Nancy furiously knitted a scarf beside me, her elbow jamming its way into my space.” That paints a prettier picture and doesn’t include bland words like “I looked over at.” What’s cool about first person is that if you just say “Nancy was doing X” the reader assumes that the POV looked over at Nancy. Amazing.
But this can even be taken to an extreme where every sentence is this long, prose-filled explanation of SHOWING what’s happening, but it breaks the flow of how the brain reads it. Lord of the Rings can be this way, so for me, it’s harder to read. But my sister read the trilogy at age 12. Every reader is different and every writer has a different audience.
People Won’t Like My Book
I’ve seen enough of my indie-writer friends get discouraged about their book when someone leaves a nasty review. And I dread the day I get a bad review, but at this point, before my book is published, I’m telling myself a few things:
- God has called me to this. His view of me is more important.
- People don’t like ME, so some people might not like my book. Life is so much more than pleasing people. I’d rather please God. So, doing my calling is fulfilling that.
- My writing style may not be everyone’s favorite. And that’s okay! This is the way I’m telling my story, so it’s not for everyone.
- People might not like the plot. My books might not succumb to popular things. I rarely have romance and I usually push it off until later. I have really messed up, flawed characters and that’s annoying. I might not end the book the way people want it to. My books are low on action. Even my sci-fi is pretty free of fighting (unless you’re talking about verbal fights).
- On top of all of this, my books are Christian. People won’t understand my viewpoint. Even fellow Christians don’t understand me and where I’ve come from. I might offend people. Well, it might not be me, but it is God speaking through me. I plan to glorify God with my words no matter where the world is going. Jesus was the Rock of Offense, so if my words offend people because of the truth I write, then so be it. I’m done worrying about what people think of me.
Well, that’s all I have to share at the moment. I might make a part two when I come up with more things. God is always shifting the way I look at things, and more and more, I’m hoping that I become who I am supposed to be.
My goal in writing is not to be the best writer or be a best-seller. If my book touches one person’s life, then all this work and worry is worth it.
I am at a point in my life where I am very much DONE with people’s judgments. I’m gonna go forward in life with a heart of a learner and an ear by God’s mouth and my eyes on eternity. I’m done stressing, I’m done worrying, and I’m done with people-pleasing.
This post is all over the place, but that’s where I am right now. God is uprooting me from how I looked at the world even a few weeks ago.
What is God showing you?
What is something you’re learning right now?
Salutations, fellow adventurers!