This is the first post in a three part series called ‘writing is’. Basically I asked for writers to share their thoughts on what writing is and I’ll be sharing the responses I received on my blog. Everyone took the challenge a little differently and there are some very interesting responses.
Writing is doing horrible things to people you love. First you conjure a character out of thin air. You become fascinated by them, take them to dinner and fall in love with them. Then you pour trials and tribulations down on their head and watch as they struggle like a pinned butterfly. It’s a peculiar form of sadism, punishing these imaginary creatures. Or, if we take the view that every character in your novel is you, or at least an aspect of you, their suffering is our own. Why do we do this to ourselves?
It’s for the sake of the story. The story reigns supreme. We might visit the wrath of the gods on our characters, but it is the sacrifice we and they must make. A reader doesn’t want to hear about a character that has an easy time of it. They will become resentful and bored. So next time your protagonist is struggling across a thousand-mile-wide desert, don’t give in to their piteous cries for water. Assure them that this is all vital to the story, that the rewards that shall be visited upon them once this ordeal is over are countless. In short, tell them to toughen the hell up.
And then push them a bit harder.
Rhiannon Hart is an aspiring YA fantasy author who does the most horrible things to her characters, all the while assuring them that it’s going to hurt her far more than it hurts them. Lharmell, her first novel, is currently on submission and she’s represented by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown. Rhiannon also blogs about books and writing.
Writing is not one big thing; it’s a bunch of little things. It is emotion, vision, passion, imagination, drive, and a thousand other things that go into the craft. Some days it flows like a great river falling down a steep canyon. Other days it drips off the keyboard in spurts and spatters, only to be quickly erased by the writer’s critical hand. The craft of writing can be taught, but education does not a writer make. A good writer is born to it, lives for it, reaches beyond his education and carves words from thin air into a coherent tale of adventure or lust that pulls the reader in and grabs them by the soul.
Simply put, I write because I love it. I love everything about it. I love the time spent doing it and the stories that unfolds as a result of it. And, when someone reads what I have written says, “I love it!,” it’s like the punctuation mark of a love affair.
Ray Bradbury said… Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love.
You can visit Mickey Mills on his blog.
Mickey Mills is an Electrical Engineer by education and a writer by passion. His short fiction has appeared at www.everydayfiction.com. His first novel, HAUNTING INJUSTICE, will launch early in 2010. He is currently working on the second book in the HAUNTING series.
I would love to hear your thoughts on writing. The next post in this series will be up on Saturday.
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