Friday, October 5, 2007

Knowing Yourself

I don't like for grown men to wear shirts with numbers on them. I believe that type of clothing is for children and young teens. As a matter of fact, I find it rather turn-offish.

I also don't like for my food to touch, the mispronunciation of words, people who talk just to talk, and commas...I don't know, it's just me...

It's very important that you learn about yourself. It's essential if you plan to become an author. It takes a while but much effort needs to be placed on this feat; even more effort than it would take to develop a good storyline.

I'm a whimsical poetess. I write complete poems at the drop of a hat and take all of five minutes to complete a piece. I tried the same thing in novel writing and, unfortunately for me, I'm not a whimsical novel writer...

I've learned that I need structure. I need to know my characters before I know my story. I need to outline plots and subplots, asl (age, sex, location for the non-internet savvy), I need to have actual pictures or dolls or cartoon characters...to refer to when I'm describing my character's traits.

I also learned that I'm not the most fashionable person so I tend to stay away from placing my characters in name brand clothing or using current terms like cougar (older women who date younger men), alls-I'm-saying-is, nameen, etc...

I know that writing, for me, is a journey. I'm in it for the long haul so it's important that I continue to get intimate with myself so that others can enjoy me; so that others can feel the sincerity in whatever they read that I've written.

The all mighty dollar looks good in my purse but my name on the shelf with the likes of Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Shakespeare, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, James Arthur Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, bell hooks etc., means SO much more to me... This goal makes knowing myself mandatory!

I've only been novel writing for a year and there is much more in store for me!

What were some things you learned about yourself when you started writing? Writing evolves as we mature. What ways have your materials matured?

Stay peace

3 comments:

JC Martin said...

I learned through my writing that the way I speak is truly not the way I write. I really will not write curse words in my stories and if I do I go back and take it out. I use other words to express myself.

I have also learned that my characters have big mouths. They invade my mind and will talk and talk until I write what they want me to write. So I listen.

Yes I know you hate commas.

Emanuel Carpenter said...

I'm in agreement with you on knowing yourself as a writer. I'm happiest when I'm writing novels on man/woman relationships (working on my 2nd one now). I've learned that I'm a better writer when I outline and develop characters before doing any actual writing. I know I'm not disciplined enough to write every day, which makes the thought of signing a 2-book deal scary because of the deadline for that second book. I also know it takes me much longer to be creative and write fiction than to bang out non-fiction articles, essays, and book reviews. I need a place where there are no distractions to write too. I could go on and on.

I can respect you for completing NaNoWriMo because I know I couldn't do it. Being creative 30 days straight would cause my brain to go haywire. If I can write 5000 words a month, I'm doing great. I love the idea of free writing and inserting specific details later like [insert apartment description here] or [Married Man #1 here] to keep the flow going.

GENESIS said...

JC
Hate isn't the word!! Great self observations!

Emanuel
My writing has become so much better because I am aware of my quirks. I had received so much advice and constructive criticism but without having figured out what type of writer I was, none of it worked for me.

Who I am as a poet, isn't who I am as a fiction novelist...very basic information but very essential to being a successful author

The prize is, ultimately, longevity...which is most important to me.

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