Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Do You Hear That Roar
Both the Church Lady and Shauna Roberts have nominated me for A Roar for Powerful Words! and I am grateful and very much appreciative of their thoughts. This is an award hosted originally at The Shameless Lions Writing Circle, but which has spread like wild over the net. There are many lions out there now, and all are roaring.
As near as I understand, the general rules for the award are to post the Lion, which is done, and to list three essentials for powerful writing. Here are my three essentials, all of which have been discussed wonderfully by other recipients of the award as well.
1. Honesty: It seems weird to talk about honesty as a requirement in writing when many of us write “fiction.” But I do see it as essential to good writing. Honesty in writing means, among other things, not taking the easy way out when you know in your heart that your character wouldn’t act that way. An example from my own writing? In Cold in the Light I had a character utter a particular curse even though I hesitated because I knew my mom wouldn’t approve. But that character, at that time, would have used that curse. I had to let him utter it.
2. Discipline: No matter the beauty of an author’s words inside his or her own head, powerful writing requires the discipline needed to put those words down on paper or screen, the discipline to work and rework those words until they say what you want them to say, and the discipline to put them out in front of others to read, and to perhaps criticize.
3. Fun: Writing is not a joy at every moment you are engaged with it. At least not in my experience. Sometimes it is downright hard and exhausting work. But if there is no fun in it then I don’t see how it can be enjoyable for the reader who reads it. I try always to keep in mind that writing is a form of play for me. It is serious play, but I’m either going to have fun or I’m going to quit.