Writing Is – 1/3

December 10, 2009 at 4:51 am (Feature, Writing Is) (, , , , )

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.

The first response comes from Rhiannon Hart: 

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.

Mickey Mills shares his view:

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.



  1. Cassandra Jade said,

    Rhiannon’s link isn’t working and I can’t fix it for some reason. Her blog is http://www.rhiannon-hart.blogspot.com/.

  2. Elizabeth Spann Craig said,

    I do wicked things to my characters, too. This is a nice feature, Cassandra! I like hearing the thoughts of other writers.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Thanks for commenting. Part two of the series will be up on saturday. It is great to hear how other writers think about writing.

  3. Margot Kinberg said,

    Cassandra – Thanks for this fascinating feature! It really is good to get the thoughts of other writers about what we do. There’s no doubt about it that writing is an act of love. We love our characters and we love telling the world about them. That’s why it really can be difficult when conflicts and other trials happen to our characters, even though we’re the ones that created those difficulties. What a great idea for a series of posts!!

  4. Fiona Skye said,

    Ooh… These are some great insights and are a tough act to follow.

  5. Rhiannon said,

    Haha we both wrote about love, but in very different ways 😀

    Cassandra–I think the link itself has been entered wrong.

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      I think many people see writing as an act of love. A love of stories, characters, words. Thanks so much for contributing to this series.

      I tried to edit the post and copied and pasted the link back in and it still isn’t working. Sorry – will continue to try to fix.

  6. Sylvia Dickey Smith said,

    What a great idea for a post! Loved reading the ideas from other writers. It always feels neat to read an article written by someone else that so accurately describes me!

  7. Mickey Mills said,

    Thank you for the opportunity to bring my thoughts to your readers. When you first let me know you would use mine I felt so honored. To punctuate what we both said, a writers love of the craft comes out on the page. I don’t know how you could write without passion.

    Anyway, it was a pleasure to be here and again, thank you so much. And a thank you to anyone that ends up at my blog because it it. Have a great Christmas season!

    Mickey Mills
    The Prodigal Scribe

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      It was great reading your response and I am really glad you contributed. Hopefully people will visit your blog because it is a great read. Thanks again and wishing you the best.

  8. Writing Is… « Mickey Mills said,

    […] December 11, 2009 · Leave a Comment I would like to thank Cassandra Jade for using my input on her “Writing Is” series hosted on her blog. Cassandra Jade in the Realm […]

  9. lawrenceez said,

    I think writing’s like painting or sketching but with words instead. Story telling, to me, is exploring a theme through fiction and imagination. Hope this makes sense.

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      It definitely makes sense. Writing is another form of expression and gives you the chance to play with thoughts and ideas. Thanks for sharing this.

      • lawrenceez said,

        I’m also a musician (classically trained). I enjoy using one art to assist another.

  10. Sylvia Dickey Smith said,

    In a rush this morning, (heading to the graduation of friend getting his Master’s degree) so can’t go into great detail about this post today, but loved it! Love Mickey’s line, “It’s like the punctuation mark of a love affair. Can’t get any better than that!


  11. writing is… my comment « creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator) said,

    […] on writing, writing I must thank Cassandra for her series of post on “writing is” (part 1, part 2 and part 3) and not only for allowing me to try to figure out what it is for me, but also […]

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