One of the things I love/hate about writing: my critique group fails to understand a scene which I have polished to perfection.
How frustrating to discover the words I have chosen do not convey the feeling and facts which I want to share! I reject the temptation to think my writing group is a bunch of blockheads. And the fun begins.
The difficulty in communicating precisely fascinates me. That has not always been the case, particularly in my early years of marriage. It was painful learning to say to my husband, “I’m sorry my words were not clear” instead of “I can’t believe you didn’t understand me!” (You blockhead.)
Communicating is difficult because of the amazing and mysterious complexity of being human. It seems like a miracle when people’s unique experiences, personality and intellect meet in understanding. And yet the more personal a story, the more universal its apprehension.
On one level I enjoy finding the right words in the way a child enjoys playing a game. It’s fun, in and of itself. On another level, I enjoy touching that profound universality of experience that makes us human.
That’s what I love about writing.
A recent study in Britain found that people had reduced chocolate cravings after taking a brisk fifteen minute walk.
I find it easier just to eat some chocolate.
Did you know cocoa has 550 flavor compounds after fermentation, drying, roasting and conching?
A carrot has 96 flavor compounds.
I think my position is perfectly clear.
Is it good enough? If that's the question you find yourself asking about your writing, you may be sabotaging yourself. After all, who's the judge of good writing? Sure, there are rules, and we all know them, but do they help you write the fresh, singular, yet universal story that only you can write? A better question according to William Kenower, Editor-in-Chief of Author, would be, is it accurate? Have you tuned your focus so precisely as to communicate exactly the one thing you most want to say? I chose this one nugget from the pages of notes I took at Bill's talk this past weekend in Spokane,Tuning Your Inner Ear: The Key to Literary and Artistic Life co-sponsored by the Inland Northwest SCBWI* and the Gonzaga University English Department. For more of Bill's inspiring words check out his blog.
* Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
When I started to write fiction an already-published-writer gave me this piece of advice: Don’t talk about your story. Talking about it will diminish your energy to write it.
Over the years I have experienced the truth of this, though I’ve found it to be less true with non-fiction. And not at all true in the late stages of a manuscript when speaking about the story with my critique group.
My most recent discovery--scientific evidence backs up this idea that talking about something you plan to do, actually lessens that chance you will do it.