Thursday, September 20, 2007
I have no idea where I found this poster. If you know, let me know. But it is cool.
On one of my writer lists we are talking about writing rules--mostly to do with grammar. Like, do you use their or there? Its or it's? My husband and I or my husband and me? I don't think about these things too much because I think I had so many English classes, it was beaten into my brain. Most of the time I can even spell. My biggest hang up in writing is leaving out words (I just read right over the missing word.)
I am not a primary visual learner like most writers. I process by auditory or kinesthetics most of the time. I have to say stuff out loud to understand some things. Or go through the motions--feel it. When doctoring a manuscript, I have actually laid it out, chapter-by-chapter, on my dining room floor and walked and talked through it. (Works for me.)
I have hundreds of writing books on craft. Of course, I have my favorites that I pull out whenever I want. I think my favorite advice on writing came from Stephen King's On Writing: "If God gives you something you can do, why in God's name wouldn't you do it?"
Now, some of you may be offended by his use of "in God's name," but overlooking that--what is he saying? (You know I'm going to 'splain it in my own way, Lucy.)He's saying if God gives you something you CAN do, it is incredulous to him that you'd tell God that He didn't know what He was doing when He gave it to you to do. Whoa. A little jolt of conviction, huh? Can I get an amen from the choir?
I hope you can see the writing rules above. They are the only rules you should be paying attention to for now. Yes, learn to know when to use their or there. That comes with time and study, or having a good editor or a really good crit partner who is strong in such things. But be writing every day. Stephen just wrote because that is what he was given to do. He wrote in a dark place, sticking his reject letters on a nail, using a crummy desk (when he could afford a great big nice one, he had trouble using it!)
Of course, you know I'm talking to myself here, not just to you.