• Writing tips--maybe not for everyone?

    I have seen, or perhaps noticed, an upsurge in quotes, interviews, books and other information on writing tips. But sometimes I read them with a furrowed brow. After reading a wide variety of works, from so many varied authors, in so many different time periods, I am left to wonder, if there is really a set standard to create a story.

    Some claim not to use adverbs, yet I have seen them used so wonderfully that I feel like I am a part of the story. Others detest dialog tags, reccommending that writers stick strictly with said. I love dialog in a book, so when I can envision a person through their dialog, I can't help but wonder why shouted, growled, whimpered, demanded or so many other tags are scorned. I can picture the type of person who might demand that the person in front of them respond immediately. But if they just 'said' it, the writer might have to add a complete sentence of the person towering over the victim.

    Others say drop the descriptive scenery, while I have been transported to place I've never seen. I can feel the cold, seeping walls of the dungeon; or the ominous mood from the forest's drooping canopy and rustling leaves; or the dessicating dust from the walking behind the plow as the metal cuts into the tough prarie soil. It may not work in every book, but I've felt the chill, the excitement or the thrill from a descriptive scene at times.

    I cannot tell if I am the odd man out. For me, writing is a creation of the author. If they were all the same, following a set pattern, I would think reading would become tedious. There are good pieces of advice and somethings that all writers should consider. Before violating grammar rules, any good author should understand them completely so they can make a conscious effort to set their own mark without making their work look dumb. If you don't know punctuation, then we can end up reading an entirely different meaning into a sentence. A misplaced or missing comma can change the tone of a sentence completely.

    Yet as long as we have such a wide range of types and genres to enjoy, I think that writing tips might only be applicable to the style a particular author might be producing. I read them all, I pick up what is useful, smile at some I think are a little off base, and other tips I just tuck away for future reference. I will have to find my own voice, and hope I can find readers who enjoy it. Most my education comes from reading, however. There are authors who I adore for their excellent use of language. I can read things totally beyond my normal tastes from a writer who makes their novel a creation by their skill. I call it wordsmithing, and their are many authors who I literally revere for their ability.

    Tips are good. Learning proper language skills is essential. Then I think an author has to create beauty, depravity, honor, deviousness, wonder, amazement, sadness or any other sensation through their own style. Write, re-write, read, seek advice, work some more, read some more, and never stop growing. Become yourself and give it back to your readers through your own unique delivery.

    1 Comment

    • 1. Aug 23 2013 3:18AM by Diana Wilder

      What's the old saying: Those who can - write. Those who can't - give writing advice. ...Although that isn't quite true. The advice I'm hearing an echo of comes from a respected writer. I can't say I've read much of his work, but apparently a member of the Hemingway school of writing. There is a time and a place for 'spare and sparse'. I have read such writing and enjoyed it. But to espouse the 'telegram school of writing' seems disingenuous at best and silly at worst.

      It's a matter of taste. I happen to hate/loathe/deteste/abominate black licorice.Others love it (heaven help them!) Both are valid. With the writing advice, excesses in any direction should be avoided. (She said dogmatically...)

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