Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Writer

What is a writer? Is it someone who merely writes…words? Or is it someone who writes words that have been published?

We know what writers want. They want to be read, published, awarded, and known. They want their words to go before them out into the world. Words that will outlive their writer.

In seeking this “great writing” that we know is within us, we make attempts at word-compilation. We mix and match, lengthen and strengthen our vocabulary, and put so much flourish and symbolism into our sentences that it leaves a confused concept. Leaving a reader awed, it fulfills its purpose; yet the reader will not read it over and over again because they cannot understand it. They do not connect with the large words and flowery language. Writers may, perhaps, enjoy it, and even applaud it, but it will not become a masterpiece. Great writing isn’t in the use of extraordinary words and clever phrases (though they have their place in literature…if used sparingly). Rather, words that convey a meaning, mood, and concept that the reader can imagine – not through their own imagination, but through the manifestation of your imagination from thoughts to paper. Readers will see, hear, smell, and feel what you want them to. That is your power.

A real, living story is a result of simple language dispersed with good wording and cunningly conceived concepts, along with well-developed characters, and an intriguing plot, all mixed together with your own imagination. Well, there's probably so much more, and so many other unique things that I haven't listed! But that's the fun of it: discovering, learning. And taking others on the path with you :)

Pick an image in a your head. Any image. A scene from your childhood, maybe. A picture of your grandmother cooking pies in her warm, musty kitchen. A group of boys wrestling each other to the ground, blood and laughter flowing together; friends in a friendly tussle. Now analyze the smells. The sounds. The people’s faces and emotions. Conjure up an image that you can’t see with your physical eyes and, while viewing it through memory and imagination, write about it. Explain it, describe it. But don’t use a lot of words; make it short. Through your writing, you are learning. Your writing must be attractive enough to gain a reader’s interest so that he, too, can come along with you on your journey – connecting with and learning from you.

Your words may feel like yours. And they are – no one thinks like you do! Because each word you put into place, each experience you seek to describe, comes from some outside source. Something that happened to you. Something you read about. So go out and experience!! The more you feel and react to the world around you, the more you will be able to make someone else feel it through your words.

The sounds words make when you put them together is enchanting. Beautiful. But don’t get lost in the way they look and sound. What do they mean? How do they make you react? Don't look at the words as words - make them into an everlasting image...

And change the world :)