Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday's Word: Writing

I have a hard time reading poorly written books. Years ago they didn't seem to bother me. Before I learned to write I didn't recognize mistakes the authors made in their writing. If the story was good, I kept reading. But some books almost sang to me. I gobbled them up and after I finished them I kept thinking about them. But I could never put my finger on the reason why I liked those particular books more than some other ho-hum book that I had read. Now I realize the reason why some books stood out while others were just okay. It was the quality of the writing and a proper use of story structure. My opinion on following rules as a new writer is that it is important, just like following a recipe in cooking. True, in cooking I take a lot of creative liberties, but I know there are certain basics that must be followed to make a cake rise, or the combination of complementary seasonings to make savory dish delicious. And if I break basic rules, only the odd palate here and there may be able to enjoy my dish, but the majority of eaters won't enjoy it. So it is with writing.

Writing is
no more the filling of paper with ink
than art is
the painting of a canvas with pink.
A true artist can transport you into a scene,
not by mere use of a blue or a green.
but by incorporation of things unseen.
Up close, each stroke of the brush
appears untamed,
spreading its colors
by rules unnamed.
But take a step back
and partake of a feast
prepared by a multitude of strokes,
none mattering more or less than the least.
But creating order
out of chaos
upon that canvas of white,
took attention
to rules
to create such a sight.
So it is with putting words on a page.
It’s more than reciting
the wisdom
of a learned old sage,
or placing a comma or an adverb in the right place,
or separating a point of view with a quadruple space.
It’s learning all the rules,
so a vision you’ll see
of what your written art
has the potential to be.
And then as the words flow from your pen
You’ll create a piece that will please all men. (and women)

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