Sunday, April 24, 2011

"I write-therefore I am" Right?

Ah, a lovely, warm spring day. The birds are singing, the kids in the neighborhood are screaming, dogs barking, and I'm seriously wondering how I managed to get a nap!

All things aside, let's delve into the next part of this "I-don't-know-how-many-part blog"-- Are we writers, or are we authors? Hmm, let's see what the good ol' dictionary has to say:

a person who writes a novel, poem, essay, etc.; the composer of a literary work, as distinguished from a compiler, translator, editor, or copyist.
the literary production or productions of a writer: to find a passage in an author.
the maker of anything; creator; originator: the author of a new tax plan.
Computers . the writer of a software program, especially a hypertext or multimedia application.
–verb (used with object)
to write; be the author of: He authored a history of the civil war.
to originate; create a design for: She authored a new system for teaching chemistry
a person engaged in writing  books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.
a clerk, scribe, or the like.
a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing: an expert letter writer.
(in a piece of writing) the author (used as a circumlocution for “I,” “me,” “my,” etc.): The writer wishes to state….
a person who writes  or is able to write: a writer in script.
Stock Exchange . someone who sells options.
Scot. a lawyer or solicitor.
Hmm, is it me, or do they, with minor variances, sound the same?
So, you wanna be a writer/author? What's it gonna take? 
First of all, you need to have ideas--lots of 'em. Why? Cause you need to have enough to last the length of your chosen work- poetry, short story, novella, novel, or series.
OK, so you got this fantastic idea burning a whole in your brain, and you gotta get it out. How? Well, you can sit down at a computer, or grab some paper and let it flow. This is good for getting the basic idea out of your head. Sometimes I have to do this or the idea just keeps haunting me until I do. What do you end up with? Sometimes it's a nice little synopsis, other times, it's just an idea with maybe a few plot points and some great character names. But either way, it's cool, just let it be for a few days. Why leave it alone? Because your brain will sooner or later decide to add to that info. Now you're getting the basis for a story. 
What next? Well, your idea needs to take shape. You as the author have to decide just where this story is going. How will it end? Yeah, having an ending in mind is nice, but I can honestly say I've started writing a book and really didn't have an idea how it would end. And I've heard from several other authors who do that too. It's all good, either way. But you must decide the main aim of your story- what is the character's mission? It may not sound like it, but there's a mission in every book. So, for now, you need to make a rough outline of what you think will happen in the book. Don't worry about chapters, page or word count, just let it flow.
It takes time to grow as a writer. You must study the trade like it's a school class. Find a few books on grammar, and ones on how to write in which particular format you are aiming for- novel, short story, etc. Do a little reading up. It also helps to read some of the folks who your genre is based in-- Okay, okay, I know, I'm probably the WORST about that last point. I tend to write more than I read. Yes, shame on me! But most important of all: find your own style. Your work will be unique to you, let your inner creativity shine. We're all tired of movie remakes, right? So don't remake someone else's book. It's your own baby!
Next post: Research. I can't tell you how many times I've read a book (or someone else read a book and told me) that whomever wrote it didn't do research into their chosen subject. Does that irritate you? It does me!
So, until next time my creatively obsessed friends...


  1. Bad Blaze! I'm a writer/author who outlines nothing because everything gets changed anyway, and I never do research until my second draft. Ah, but I cheat: I only write about things I have knowledge of or have experienced anyway. Devilishly cool, huh? However, the good thing about writing is that there is no one way. I suppose I could keep more on track if I did some sort of an outline, but . . . Hey, at least I research in my second draft. :D And, my first draft sort of becomes my outline.

    I love what you say about reading without copying. Finding your own voice is great
    advice. Remakes do indeed suck.

    Keep the cool stuff flowing.

  2. Blaze- mine changes too, but sometimes it helps to get the idea down before another one poops its way out of my brain and contaminates the first one. Yes, perhaps we should term that "getting the blog out"-- since it sounds like a bodily function anyways.-- "I gotta blog it outta my brain!"

    Yes, remakes SUCK! Fresh meat for Hollywood!