The River's Badge

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Writing Advice?







There's a writing forum I visit occasionally.  The reason I visit it only occasionally is because I always feel bad after browsing through it.

I find tons of advice about how to do things the "correct way".  What a downer.  If one wants to suck the soul out of a writer, start telling her that she's doing things all wrong.  

Is it some inherent urge that we all have ~ to slap a ton of rules down that we want everyone to follow? 

It all started innocently enough with the admonition that one does not put two spaces after a sentence.  Doing that somehow brands one as a senile old fool. How archaic can I be?  Fine.  I'll go along.  I fixed that.  I want to be "hip"; just like all the young, hip people (I still do it here, though).

Then, it was the overuse of certain words; such as "just" and "really".  Point taken.  I really just used those two words really just too much.  In my defense, it wasn't laziness.  That's just really the way I talk.

I'm sure there's also a topic somewhere on that forum regarding made-up words.  Well, I make up words a lot.  Sometimes a word (just really) doesn't exist that succinctly describes what it is I want to say.  Therefore, I make up my own word.  Sue me.

In my mind, writing is like jazz.  One needs to improvise in order to create something unique.  I've long since (50-or-so years ago) graduated from "See Spot run".  Yes, that sentence is technically correct, grammar-wise, but it's not all that interesting (I guess unless you're Spot).

For about seven years, I've perused a couple of songwriting forums, and those people aren't nearly as tight-assed as prose writers.  I'm shocked by that.  After all, songwriting generally follows established structures.

I could have driven myself crazy with my manuscript, had I tried to conform to every "rule" laid down by sundry (unpublished) writers. 

No, I'm just going to be me. 

And my next book is (just really) going to be me, too.






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