Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Writing Tips; Rule #1

Write Often and Write Honest

It has been long contemplated to offer tips on writing. My own insecurities have prevented me. However, over the years many have come to me for advise and after offering it have said it was good, sound, and appreciated.
Young and new writers will ask for advice. “Do you have any advice?” It is sometimes so open ended it is difficult to know where to begin. Yet, I know exactly what they mean; just give me anything. More than anything they want encouragement. Thus, my first piece of advice is to write. And immediately after that, write honest.
(1) Write.
(2) Write honest.
Many like the idea of writing, but have never seriously tried it. They’ve thought up stories in their mind, but never put them in words and on paper. That’s where the fun begins.
One will never know if they want to write unless they actually try to construct a story. Once that is done the second piece of advice can be applied.
Many writers are dishonest. Not for the reasons dishonesty exists in other endeavors, but nevertheless it could be for some sort of nefarious reason.
Allow me to briefly explain. Simple direct sentences will convey the most earnest and believable results. Many who want to write and be noticed for their efforts will dress up a sentence like it’s going to Mardi Gras.
Many writers forget the story in order to dazzle the reader with details.
Donald stood in solitude on the porch of his home and watched the fury of the sea lick against the rocks like the tongue of a demon. With each crash he felt as if the earth and house trembled and wondered if the earth and sea might not swallow he and the house whole. The spewing of the waves reached far above the rocks and made him think how small he was when he first confronted by his father; a day that crashes against is brain even to this day with all the fury and realness of the waves beating the rocks before him.
Well, I could have gone on for another forty or fifty words and felt quite proud of myself. If such is essential to round out the character it is likely the character has not been developed enough to begin with.
Facing the ocean on the porch, Donald felt small and alone. The waves pounded and crashed high against the rocks. “I’m a small boy when I confront, Dad,” he thought.
Yes, there are details left out, but this gives the same impact. It trust the reader to fill in some of the tone and make their own comparisons.
This in not to say detailed description isn’t needed, but never for the sake of showing off writing skills. A good rule is to only reveal what is needed to set the mood and keep the story moving. Spending too much time on description can be distracting. If you think detailed description is needed give it early and not in the middle of the chase.
I fill myself drifting to another subject on writing. It is a foible of writers, we tend to dance with too many partners instead of the one we came to the dance with. Hey, let’s now talk about metaphors.
See what I mean.

I’ll try to write and post another piece of advice on writing next Tuesday.