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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 9/15/2008 12:11 PM PDT
I agree! And at the same time I feel like Sarah. My favourite authors (Salinger, Gombrowicz) are favourite because their writing seems so perfect, so unreal, so out of my reach... And then there are other authors I love, but don't revere as much, because they seem to belong to the same level range I may one day hope to get to.
And, I posted my own thread about originality. :P
Posted: 9/14/2008 9:07 PM PDT
It's funny, because I sound nothing like the writers I love. I tried to write serious, dark stuff and only really found my voice when I started writing comic material. I think imitating another author can be good practice, but you need to find the best fit for yourself-- something unique and original to you.
I've had both experiences-- books that make me want to write and write and write and books so good that I feel ashamed and depressed for never being able to live up to them.
Posted: 9/14/2008 8:15 PM PDT
Good advice -- but sometimes reading a good book can CAUSE writer's block. Either you think, "I can never do something this amazing," or you consciously or unconsciously imitate the writer you admire -- and then end up stalling out because you can only run on borrowed fuel for so long.
Have you ever had that experience?
Posted: 9/14/2008 3:52 PM PDT
Did I mention proof reading? The precepts of proper English insist that I should have written "follow", not "following". That's bitch of editing. Take out old typos, put in new ones.
Posted: 9/14/2008 2:52 PM PDT
If you aren't sure what to write next, read a book by an author who you respect and admire and whose style fits your mindset. You do have one of those, yes? If not, get one. It sounds condescending but it's not. Many new writers first inspiration to write comes from a writer whose style isn't a good fit for them. I was one of those. Stephen King sparked the fire, but haven't a clue how to write the stories he does, never mind the volume! So, I kept reading and reading till I came across Kurt Vonnegut. A light went off. Now this, THIS is something I can wrap my head around. When you encounter a writer whose work you can HONESTLY say that about, you're on the right track. I meant it! Don't fool yourself into THINKING such and such is your honest template for how to write because he or she has sold 100 million books worldwide. You are setting yourself up for failure. And above all, write for the FUN of it. If you don't like what you are writing, it'll show in the finished product. Don't "potboil". The market is flooded with people who wrote a book that fits a trend. In time, that trend will vanish. They all do, but one: originality.
I have three books to my credit, all of them unorthodox to the nth degree. I'd rather start a trend than following one.