Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Just Write

So my husband apparently thinks that reading and learning about the craft of writing is a complete waste of time. We don't see eye to eye on this issue. I do see the point of just writing and getting something on paper and maybe if all I wanted to do was sit and write all day and not worry about a cohesive story line and characterization, I could do that right now. I didn't sit down one day without any training and perform an audit simply by stating "I already know how to do math. This won't be too hard." I spent 4 years in college, 16 hours taking a qualifying exam and several weeks of training before sitting down at a client's to perform an actual audit. So forgive me if I'd like to learn something about the thing that I've wanted to do since I was a child. Instead of writing a piece of tripe, I'd like to at least understand what I'm supposed to do. So in continuing along that vein, I'm currently reading Characters, Emotions & Viewpoint in the Write Great Fiction series from Writer's Digest. And I have plenty more books where that one came from. :)


mypetrock said...

For what it is worth, I agree with your husband. Writing is different than being a CPA and more like being a parent. Sure, you read books about being a parent, but really the best training you received was 1) the parenting that you experienced and 2) the experience of parenting yourself. It was only when you needed some help that you needed to turn to the books. In the same vein, I think the best way to teach yourself how to write is to 1) read and 2) write. When you have problems or don't understand why something isn't coming together then I'd consult the books. Or read the books in paralell with your writing. But Write!

the squeaky mouse gets the cheese said...

I disagree with Physicsboy, but I see what Magic Rock's talking about as well. I think you should keep writing something every day and continue to study and read the helpful theoretical stuff. Think of it as learning to fence...practice is paramount, but sitting and listening to a master is also going to teach you stuff you can't figure out on your own. Do both.

Why don't you start by writing some children's stories (if you feel like it) of say 1500 words or so for all your friends to read to their kids. Lord knows my kid will eventually tire of rehashed Tolkien and Everquest combo stories. (Though I'm proud to say he recognizes the universal truth that Rangers are much cooler than Knights.)

Lauren Child makes me wish I wrote children's books. She's awesome.

Amanda said...

Children's stories can be just as intimidating as a full length novel. Right now with everything up in the air and my computer off line (broken adapter) for a few days, I haven't done much. I do agree with writing everyday. I'm trying to develop a plot that includes creating a background world for the characters to exist in. I have thought about children's books but all the essential elements are necessary there as well. My characterization book has actually been really helpful. It helped me understand some of the methods that the Harry Potter books do. Especially the first one where everything is shown rather than long expositions on the subject.