Thursday, May 19, 2011

On Writin': A Blog of the Craft

Let me preface this entire blog by saying that I am not a very experienced writer.  I’m in my early twenties, I have never been paid for a piece of my work, and in fact I have only just finished and self-published my very first novel.  But in the same way that we all wish we could go back in time and tell our young selves all the things we know now, I often wish that someone would have just sat down with me from the start and told me how to write well.

Now, you’re no doubt thinking to yourself, “You sir, are a silly goose!  No one person can tell you how to be a good writer!”  And you are completely correct in believing so.  There is no formula to writing well, and at its core it can’t exactly be taught.  But still, even as I write my second novel, I’m discovering things—little tricks and tips, most often easy to summarize in a brief sentence—that impact my writing tremendously.  They’re such tiny ideas, the kind that make you say “Why didn’t I think of that before?”  (Well, they made me say it…)  Yet at the end of the day, they can make an enormous difference in the feel and quality of your work. 

Here's some nice clipart, just to make you feel safe.
My goal for this blog is to amass all of the knowledge I have gained in my short years of writing, so that another aspiring author can come away with a stronger foundation and ultimately at least a slightly better understanding of the craft.  Again, I don’t claim to be an amazing writer, and I still have just about everything to learn.  (I’ll probably be learning how to write for my entire life, I think…)  But at the very least I can fill you in on these little tips that for me, at least, have made all the difference.

Some of these concepts are rather broad and obvious, and can be found in just about any book on the subject or on the lips of any author.  These I will stress anyway, just to drive the point home a little more in your mind.  Others are merely the tiniest of tips that I have found in random places, yet to me are so important that it’s a wonder why they’re not engraved on some huge “HOW TO WRITE” chart.  These I will fill you in on, if only because I wish that someone had filled me in before I even started in the first place.

These concepts will cover a variety of subjects, including dialogue, narrative, word-usage, and the like—mostly things pertaining to fiction, though I can’t say there won’t be at least an ounce of advice that can be used in non-fiction as well.  And probably more often than is useful I will find myself simply writing posts about my own thoughts on the art of writing.

I hope you can glean any sort of usefulness out of this amateur’s sermons, or at least a small bit of entertainment.  Like any art form, writing isn’t just “something you do”, but a walk of life—and that walk is always much more fun to take with someone else.  I invite you to leave many comments, and even discuss your own feelings on the subject. 

Thank you in advance to anyone who listens, and happy writing.

Jack Thomas

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