For the Criminally Inane

For the Criminally Inane

Friday, August 27, 2010

Who can be a writer?

-Anybody who knows a lot about something.
-Anybody who knows a little about a lot of things.
-Anybody who has something to say.
-Anybody who has a story to tell.
-Anybody who has a dream to share.
-Anybody who has an agenda.
-Anybody who has a passion.


First, anyone who knows a lot about something. Yes, these are our experts. I read a book about how to do real estate. I thought maybe the guy had learned from his own experience. Nope. Turns out, he got his information from another guy and the author made money selling a book of another guy's secrets. I felt a little ripped off. But here you are. If you know something, you don't even have to have experience, write a book and make your fortune.

Second, anyone who knows a little about a lot of things. These are your jack-of-all-trades guys. You know the ones, the know-it-alls. I fall into this category. I know enough about stuff just to get me into trouble, but not enough to make a living at it. I'm the resident know-it-all. It helps that I say my opinions with such authority. Why am I qualified to write a book? Well, I'm not, but I'm the type of person who knows just enough about a subject to make it seem real, not enough to write a how-to book on it.

Third, anybody who has something to say. Had a bad break up, divorce? Found yourself while eating pasta and touring Italy? Had a life changing moment when you climbed Mt. Everest? You too can write a book about it and maybe even option it for a movie!

Fourth, anybody with a story to tell. I have friends that can spin the darnest yarns. They are true story tellers. THey hatch out a whole plot line before they've even sat down to write. It's like storytelling is a natural extension of who they are. I've also noticed they are very good liars.

Fifth, anyone with a dream to share. These are your fantasy writers. Of course, my husband says all romance novels are fantasy, but that's not the point. These are the people who live in another world. They are the dreamers. Reading their work is like dreaming with your eyes open. It's fun, it's scary, it blows your mind.

Sixth, anyone with an agenda. I hate to say it but we all have our soapboxes, even writers. Movies are pretty obvious these days with their not-so-subtle agendas. Oh, no, the polar ice caps are melted due to those horrible humans. Writers have an agenda. It comes out as their theme. It's what we believe is true. Men are scum, or you must have a happily ever after wedding in the end.

Seventh, anybody who has a passion. I saved this one for last because as a writer, you MUST have a passion. It is what sees you through those tough times. You must believe that what you are writing will benefit the canon of literature all ready in print. You must believe that you can do it, that this is not all a waste of time. It is passion that sees you through.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

writing honestly

I think that the best stories told out there are the ones written honestly. I"m not saying that everything in the story has to be true, because of course, that's what makes fiction, it's fake. When I talk about honesty, I mean that the real feeling comes out. I think this is why books like the Twilight series are a big hit. Stephanie Meyer wrote them with honest emotion. Too many writers think they have to have big and new and interesting words, clever plotting, and sizzling dialogue. Yes, you need all those things, but don't forget to open your heart a little and pour out yourself on the page. Ms. Meyer did that and she succeeded. Now, it takes some courage to write your deepest fears, your sexiest dreams, your worst part of yourself. But it's when we let ourselves go, that we find ourselves and find ourselves connecting with others.

On a different note...don't you hate it when you get a good idea but you are not a good enough writer to pull off your idea. It sucks. I sit here thinking, if someone else were writing this, this would be good as I stumble along with stilted dialogue and hackneyed descriptions. Oh, well, if I don't practice, I can't get any better.