Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Insecure Writers want to know: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

            What really gets stuck in my computer keys is this mindset, usually by non-writers, that writing a story is easy. Now wait! We are writers. We understand how things in our story worlds must be logical. So let’s look at this assumption logically.
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When you think about it, writers must create a whole new world that didn’t exist before in story, no matter what the genre. Historical fiction begins with the facts. Then the writer leaps from there to create a fictional world and situation. Fantasy and science-fiction work this way, too. The more the writer grounds the story base in fact or myths or beliefs, the more realistic the story seems. Each world needs to follow a logical set of rules just like in reality. Even in contemporary stories, writers must research facts and details to base their worlds in possibility. And this all takes time and effort.

Once the writer has a genre and sets up the world, she needs to populate it with characters; a protagonist, an antagonist, and secondary characters. Each character then needs his or her own backstory and belief system and personal problems.

Note: Worlds or characters or situations, begin with what works best for you. There is no one way to write. However, the worlds, characters, and situations must seem realistic to the reader.

Creating art from words requires discipline. Like any profession, one must commit to completing a project. That means devoting the time to the task, whether you are learning new skills and methods through workshops and courses, or quieting that nagging critic in your head so you can move forward in your story.

Writers are very brave. They must allow their characters, and thereby themselves, to be vulnerable on the page for all to see. Writers make mistakes. But they figuratively pick themselves up, put Band-Aids on their kneecaps if necessary, and dig in again. And sometimes, again and again. For writers understand that raw and true emotion intensifies tension in story. It connects readers to characters.

And the bravery continues when the writer begins to share her newborn story in critique sessions or with a critique partner. A writer is a fragile creature, as I’ve said before. The courage to “bleed on the page” as Hemingway said and then show it to others for their opinions is what makes writers so brave. The writer must be open to other’s thoughts on their creation, however, before sending it out into the world to see what agents or editors think or stepping into self-publishing. They should seriously consider any comments that come up more than once.

Maya Angelou had it right when she said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Writers are compelled to create stories. And they need to do it again. And again. And again. Writing a story is hard work. It’s the writer researching and calculating and understanding difficult phenomena. What do you think? Do you think writing a story is easy? If so, PLEASE, share some tips.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.  

40 comments:

  1. I like the thought of writers being brave. I don't always feel that way, but I guess it is a brave thing to put yourself out there and keep trying and trying and trying. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Ellen! Being brave is NOT easy--especially for writers. I have trouble with it. A lot. But to be writers, we must put ourselves out there. Breathe deep. Good luck!

      Thanks for your comment here on Adventures in Writing. Please stop by again.

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  2. So true. You know the story is inside of you. You know it is you who has to tell it. The hardest part is telling it and that is the fly in the ointment because there is no one way to tell a story.
    I enjoyed reading your article.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia at Everything Must Change

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    1. Thank you so much for this, Patricia! You are so right. There is NOT only one way to tell a story. Writing a story is definitely difficult.

      Thanks again for your comment here on Adventures in Writing. All the best to you.

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  3. Heck no it's not easy! None of it is. But nothing worth doing is easy.

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    1. You are so right, Alex! Nothing worth doing is easy. Thanks so much for your comment here on Adventures in Writing. All best to you, sir.

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  4. Writing is never easy. I know I pick over what I say and analyze everything. It makes me take a lot longer than I should to get things published on the blog.

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    1. Oh my gosh, Morgan. I am exactly the same way. No, writing is never easy. Even blog posts. It takes me really long to accomplish something I feel is pithy enough, written professionally to the best of my ability before I post anything or share my stories with others.

      Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Morgan. Enjoy your day!

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  5. I love this. Writers really are brave. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Chrys, for your kind words here at Adventures in Writing. Like I said. Writing is extremely difficult to do. Thanks for your comment. All the best to you.

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  6. Hi Victoria - keep writing ... that's the way to develop more stories ... good luck - cheers Hilary

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  7. Thanks so much, Hilary, for your encouragement. It means the world to me. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your day!

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  8. Anything worth doing take effort and guts. Writing is not exception, and it shouldn't be either. Otherwise we rob ourselves of the glory in the journey.

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  9. Yes it does, Crystal. And we also rob the reader of the enjoyment of that story journey if we don’t make the story the best we can.

    Thanks so much for your comment here on Adventures in Writing. It's always a pleasure seeing you here. I hope you are feeling well.

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  10. I'd never considered bravery to be a requirement for writers until I started writing. Now I know just how important it is.

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  11. Bravery is number one in importance for a writer. We must believe in our ability to tell stories. And then send them out into the world for others to enjoy.

    Thanks so much for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. It's greatly appreciated, Lee!

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    1. Darn tootin, it's scary! Thanks so much for weighing in here at Adventures in Writing, Juneta. It's greatly appreciated. Enjoy your day!

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  13. Writers definitely must be brave! We have to take a lot of crits and keep trying...

    Wanted to thank you for the award - my post goes up with my next survey, 8/16

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    1. Yes, writers must keep trying. It's the only way to move forward.

      Bravo, Tara, on your award. You deserve it. I'll look forward to your survey post. Feel free to send me the link.

      Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing.

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  14. I really enjoyed your post. I'm working to develop my bravery by releasing first-draft chapters on Wattpad - with a disclaimer. I have to say it's helped. But putting words out there for others to read is about the scariest thing I've ever done, or will do.

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Paula!

      It's so scary to send your work out for others to see. Bravo, Paula, for your bravery. I don't have Wattpad. I hope all goes well.

      Thanks again for your comment on Adventures in Writing. All the best to you!

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  15. I love this: "Creating art from words requires discipline" So very true! And yes we need to be brave too. I think that's why so many people start writing but a much lower percentage actually finish.

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    1. That's true, Lynda. Many jump on, but only a few type "The End." Thanks for your kind words. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your day!

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  16. Yes to the courage and the discipline! Thanks for visiting my blog today -- it's nice to meet you in this virtual space.

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  17. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Yvonne! It's nice to "meet" you also.

    Thanks for your vote and comment here at Adventures in Writing. Please stop by again! All the best to you.

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  18. It's not easy at all! But we must do it. Wonderful post. :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Christine! You are right. Writers must write. Thanks again for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving your thoughts on this subject. Enjoy your weekend!

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  19. Writing is not easy. I've never thought of writers as brave, but I guess we are. We do throw ourselves out for open criticism again and again. Not to mention going up against all of the self-doubt. Definitely brave :)

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    1. Writers are very brave. Anyone who puts themselves and/or their work out for others' comments is very brave.

      Thank you so much for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving your thoughts about my post. It's greatly appreciated.

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  20. Great post!

    As I am realizing more and more now when working on a book, yes, writing is difficult. I never thought of it that way before, when writing my journal, articles or blogs, but a book is a different beast. Even when you are not creating a new world, but expand on or share an existing one, like in a memoir. Cheers to bravery!

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  21. Thank you for your kind words, Liesbet. Creating a book is extremely difficult. In memoir, we still create the world we are in FOR the reader, so he or she can see where we are, see the problems we have, actually see our inner struggles and why they matter to us. Memoirists need to be incredibly brave to show all this to the reader.

    Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Liesbet. Thanks again for your comment.

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  22. Read your first sentence and it made me laugh. I am halfway through an MA in literature and the more I learn about the writing process, the more I realise how little I know. But you are right, Victoria, we can't stop.

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  23. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Carole! Bravo to you on your journey to an MA. If I had finished college earlier in life...okay, if I didn't have 5 children and a husband constantly asking me when I was finished with college, I know I would have moved on to a master's degree. So really, bravo to you.

    Carole, each time I learn something new in writing through coursework, I'm amazed at how little I really know about story. Thank you so much for your comment here on Adventures in Writing. And thank you for following my blog. It means the world to me. Please stop by again.

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  24. Hi Victoria!

    Its never easy but what is easy in this life? We have to slog through to get to the fruits of our labor.

    All the best!

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    1. Never were truer words written, Nas. Thanks! Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your day!

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  25. It's never easy, but you can't give up. Great post as always.

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  26. Thank you for your kind words, Michelle. No, life isn't easy, so why should the work we feel compelled to do be easy?

    Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your day!

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  27. It's not easy, and then there's the journey to publication--oh boy!

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  28. Never were truer words said, Tamara! The writer's journey can take years...and years. Thanks for the confirmation. And thanks for your comment here on Adventures in Writing. It's greatly appreciated. Enjoy your week!

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