“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.” – Jack Kerouac
Today’s post is a “2 parter”…
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” – Elmore Leonard
Isn’t it weird how answers can sometimes come to a person at the strangest times? Saturday morning, while vacuuming the lounge, it came to me, an answer to a question I hadn’t really even asked myself.
Although I have felt like there is something missing from my writing, I haven’t been able to quite put my finger on it, so I have just kept writing. I often think back on all the quotes I have read saying that there is no limit to how rough a first draft can be or that a first draft is just you telling yourself the story, so I guess in the back of my mind I thought all the missing pieces would fall into place during the editing phases.
But there it was, on a random Saturday morning, between the noise of the vacuum cleaner and sound of my little people’s laughter, the answer to what’s missing. I have set this particular story locally. But what I have not added in or made part of my writing, is the local flavour, the ‘what makes us unique as a people’ aspect. So although I had promised myself not to edit or rewrite until I was done with the first draft, I rolled up my sleeves (metaphorically of course) and got stuck in adding in that missing South African essence.
I feel like this has been a breakthrough in not only my current project but with my discarded writing from years ago. My characters have come to life and my inspiration is intensified. Now all I want to do is write, write and write some more.
“Don’t classify me, read me. I’m a writer, not a genre.” – Carlos Fuentes
Yes, I am busy with a project now. And yes, I definitely plan to see it through to the very end. And again yes, my note book is filled with ideas and notes on future writing projects but… there has been something playing on my mind.
Although I read many genres I have two favourites – as I am sure all readers do – which are thrillers and fantasy. But here’s the thing – I write neither thrillers nor fantasy. So here is a question for the writers out there – do yours differ? Is what you read different from what you write?
I am currently reading A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin (no, I have not watched the series) and I find myself wondering, how would I do at writing fantasy? There seems to be so much more that goes into the planning than with “regular” fiction, for example the world creation.
So as I sit here, more inspired and determined than ever before, in terms of my writing anyway, I wonder to myself if it is time to leave my comfort zone and explore other genres of writing? Please advise me oh wise and wonderful writers of the blogiverse, is writing more than one genre advisable?
“I write across several genres. I’m a slut for words. I can’t keep it in my literary pants.” – Fierce Dolan