Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A WRITER?

Only you can answer that question. But before you do let’s go over a few things. You don’t want to make a snap decision.

To be a writer you must feel! Wait a minute…that was too easy. Everyone has feelings. But can everyone infuse their characters with emotion?

 Stories are made up of characters full of bubbling emotion that reaches out and draws readers into their world. You, as the writer, must feel to infuse your characters with emotion. And to be successful you have to be excited about writing.

Sometimes it is dog-gone hard to be excited about writing because writing is not for sissies. There are going to be days of rejections, days when you feel as though your writer’s group stabbed your story to death, and days of bad reviews. But hang on because if you have a passion for writing that will see you through tough days. And look at it this way, you’re feeling and this is good for your writing. Bottle up all those emotions and pour them into your characters. Though, don’t forget to be honest.

What do I mean by that? Don’t fake emotions. Let your inner-self show in your writing. Your readers can spot a fake a mile away. Simply put, don’t write what you don’t believe.  Be yourself.

Also, while you're being honest think about this. You may idolize Mary Higgins Clark, but you can’t write like her. You might be able to pull it off for a little while, but eventurally the true writer will come through and the fraud will be discovered. Only Mary can write like Mary. Only you can write your story.  But you’ve got to want it badly enough to hone your craft.

To hone your craft you should WRITE EVERY DAY!!!

In a nutshell if you can feel, be excited,  be honest, and hone your craft you just might have what it takes to be a writer.

I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed.

What would you add to this list?    

18 comments:

  1. A few weeks ago my husband walked into the room and said, "What's wrong, you look like you're mad."
    I had to laugh. I said, "Oh, I'm not mad. It's my main character, she's mad. I'm just feeling her anger."
    =)

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  2. I'd add discipline, willingness to rewrite, and a tough skin! You're your own boss, so if you can't make yourself sit down and write every day, you'll never make it. Same thing for revision! Some stories or novels need four, five, or ten revisions, and you must have the willpower. And if you can't take rejection, it's going to be hard to withstand the writing industry.

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  3. Carolyn:
    Great! I understand what you're saying. I hate to write sad scenes because it drains me for the rest of the day. Carolyn, you've got what it takes!

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  4. Laura:
    You go girl! You're right on target. Laura, you've got what it takes!!!

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  5. I agree with Carol's comment - I tend to make the faces that showcase that my characters are feeling. My kids think I'm nuts :)

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  6. Jemi:

    Cool. What a good way to keep the kids guessing. Jemi, you've got what it takes. :0)

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  7. I've been pretty diligent the last few days...I write until I'm emotionally exhausted. My daughter asked me what was wrong when I came in yesterday (I write outside a lot), I told her I was exhausted I'd been in the middle of a war zone and was worn out. I don't know if that means I have what it takes, but I REALLY want to have what it takes.

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  8. Channeling emotion into your characters is great advice. I might just go do that once I'm done blogging.

    I'd say the top two traits writers need are patience and perseverance. I would have quit a long time ago without the latter. I'm still working on patience- it's rather elusive!

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  9. Sharon,
    You definitely have what it takes. I've written battle scenes before. They take a lot out of you. ;)

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  10. Stephanie:
    Definitely! Writers have to have patience and perseverance. I'm soooo guilty of having no patience. The way I work through it is to turn my attention to another book. Thanks for your input!

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  11. We need to infuse emotions into our characters but then step out of the way and let them tell their own stories. And we need to practice till our fingers are black and blue.

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  12. Carol,
    Good point. We do need to let our characters be themselves and not force them to do something they wouldn't. And practice...my fingers are black and blue, my forehead has a dent in it from pounding my head against my desk, and my hair is falling out. Teasing, of course, but yeah commitment is a BIG part of writing. ;)

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  13. An overall learning of craft and writing mechanics is imperative.

    And discipline, like Laura mentioned. A lot of people TALK about writing...

    Lovely blog. :)

    Love,
    Lola

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  14. Lola,
    I agree. A writer is always learning about the craft. And, yes, there are a lot of people who talk about writing, they might even write a chapter or two, but it takes real commitment to stick to it and put your writing out there for criticism.

    Since you know all that, Lola you're a writer!!!

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  15. I agree with Laura--most of writing is re-writing. What it takes to become a professional is a commitment to making the story the best it can be, not hanging onto every last word one drafted.

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  16. Laurel,
    This is very true. It's fun to fill in a blank computer screen, but a great deal of writing professionally has to do with refining what you've written and molding it into a wonderful story. :0)

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  17. Super great advice Kathi. My YA in particular is very emotional and I think I do a good job of making it real. It certainly FEELS real to me when I'm writing it.

    My MG stuff is a bit harder. It's a little harder to channel my inner 14 yo boy AND give him emotions, lol. By definition a young teen boy is very reticent. But, even they DO have emotions - the trick is just to write them believably.

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  18. Ali,
    Writing from a boy's point of view can be a challenge. But I know you can do it. You definitely have what it takes to be a writer. :0)

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