viernes, 9 de mayo de 2014

Top 10 misconceptions about writing

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  1.  It’s easy. Oh, how I wish. In truth, it takes research, reading, planning, charts, floor plans, and lots of editing. (Like…when I say lots, I mean …LOTS. Months and months and months)
  2. You need to wait for inspiration to strike. Not so. If you wait for inspiration, then you only write like once a week, if that. No, writers approach this as a job. You train your mind to work, just like you’d train your body for a marathon. And, after a while, inspiration is only a plus.
  3. Writing and reading are separate. Writers are, first of all, readers. If you don’t read you can’t write. At least not efficiently, not in a way that reaches your readers, not in a way that changes things. For that you need to read.
  4. The more words you use, the better the story. More often than not, the opposite is true. Most writers can express an idea in fifty words, but only a really good writer can express the same idea in fifteen, ten, or even five. Brevity is, after all, the soul of wit.
  5. Writers are born, not made. I like to think it’s a combination of both. I know some extremely talented people who, recognizing their gifts, have refused to dedicated the time and effort that being a writer requires, and have remained mediocre, and I know less talented people who’ve transformed into brilliant writers by sheer force of will. Like any special talent or ability, you can get better at writing. All you have to do is work on it, and then work on it some more.
  6. Truly skilled writers don’t need to edit. LIES, I TELL YOU. ALL LIES. No one gets it right on the first draft. Most of the times, the first draft is merely a way to get all your ideas out. Then comes the real work.
  7.  Writers are weird, often drunk introverts with no friends. Thankfully, this is also not true. Like doctors, and lawyers, and architects, writers are all different. Most of the time, they’re not at all timid creatures. The good ones usually have friends (or first readers, however you want to call them) Though the wine thing isn’t really a lie.
  8. Writers always enjoy writing. Sometimes writing is agony. There are moments when you want to fling your manuscript through the window and go do some manual labor. At times writing is like a sugar rush, wonderful and bright and then you crash down, and …it’s back to the torment. Good torment, but torment nonetheless.
  9.  There is one method to writing, and that’s it. Some people plan every step their character takes. Others like to write in a way that their own characters will surprise them. No two writers are alike, and no two writing processes are alike. That’s the beauty of it.
  10. All a writer ever does is write. We’re just like normal people. We cook. We do laundry. We go to the movies, read other books, work out, go to the beach. It’s just that …on the back of our heads, all those things mentioned above are part of a story. But we still do them. We need to. There are no stories if we don’t. 

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