Monday, July 29, 2013

Top Ten No No's for Writers

Okay so original this was suppose to be an article for this entertainment magazine. However, because this was focused more on writers than entertainment itself it couldn't be posted.

Top Ten No No's for writers.
1. Do not forget to read. Read, and oh by the way did I mention read? If you even have to ask why then writing isn't a choice for you.

2. Avoid Mary Sues like the plague (a "perfect" and contrived character with no flaws or blemishes in which writers project their over indulging fantasies: in other words a total boring and unrealistic one). If you're character is some perfect flawless human being than we as the readers don't care. Even if the setting and overall premise is that of  high fantasy the characters should still remain realistic. Escapism is nice but if we aren't running away with characters we connect to and actually care about than what's the point?

3. No useless scenes that lead to nowhere or don’t contribute anything to the plot. Yes that means even you NaNoWriMo[ers] (A nearly suicidal yearly ritual in which established and non-established writers try to fabricate a book in a month). There should be a reason and purpose behind every scene you write. Don't grab and hang on to one just because you like it. If  it's of no importance to what's going on, what you're leading up to, or what you're setting up for way in the future of  the story, take it out.

4. Don’t hide your story from the world. I know, you poured so many blood and tears down onto each page. The idea of someone tearing up your baby is horrifying. Just thinking about it makes me apprehensive, but how else will we grow as writer? Critique can save you as much as it can break you. In order for you baby to be all it can be, tough love will be needed. That being said; don’t change your vision to satisfy someone else’s view. It's what makes you do unique.  

5. Don’t compare your writing to others. You have your own personally style. Don't tarnish it by being deflated by the fact that someone might writer a little differently from you. This is self-destructive. Everyone's writing is their one little master piece, whether it's 500 or 50,000 words. Heads ups. Which leads me to no no number 6.

6. Do not try to copy others writing styles. Yes, I think we all aspire to have the writing prowess of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. That doesn't mean you should try to be a mimic. Look at other's writing with respect and then create something of your own.

7. Do not write about something you are not well versed in. If you are not politically savvy, do not try to write a political satire. Research is important but you can't cram years of study and medical terms into a few months to create some exciting medical thriller. Stick to what you know so you can be more flexible with your writing.

8. Don't have tunnel vision. Outlining can save many people's sanity but don't let your story become rigid. Sometimes it can take interesting turns you never thought it would. Don't miss out on the opportunity to see where you can go. Let your writing be free.

9. Show, don’t tell. Personally, this one is a biggie for me. If you want to immerse your readers into your wonderful story you can't just tell them what happens, you have to show them. Most people in this world know all the five sense, utilize them. For example; Kim hated Ben, so she made him trip. How about this instead? Kim smirked as she followed a dubious Ben from behind. The tip of her toes pressed against the heel of his squeaky sneakers, causing his foot to slip out and for him to stumble into the innocent bystander in front of him. He looked behind, finding the smirk still turning the corners of her mouth and brimming eyes.

10. Don't beat yourself up. Everyone is still learning and growing. We can't all be perfect Mary Sues so don't expect to be one; besides, no one likes a Mary Sue. Always be aware of your strengths and weakness but believe in yourself in the process. You are a writer, so don't let doubt take over something you love to do.