When someone asks for “description,” do you answer with “leave nothing to the imagination?”
Well, as you may know, this isn’t too classy, and although some folks may enjoy that, most probably don’t.
I’d like to borrow a tired chiché from my music education experience, which is that the “practice makes perfect” mantra is misleading. Practice makes permanent is more often true. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Which raises the question: how does one practice writing?
As a writer, not all of our ideas can metamorphose into a fully-fledged piece of expression, and it’s important not to invest too much energy into the ones that aren’t working.
And now we live in a world where everyone is vying for your attention, we’re bombarded by stimuli, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a literary reaction to this. Not that it would get anyone’s attention, it might just die in a corner somewhere.
I’m the kind of writer who joyfully overestimates his own ability every time I sit down to type. And I’m sure I’m not the only one… I smile, pull open my laptop, look at the pages before me and think, “finish editing the whole book today? hell yeah!” One paragraph later: “finish the whole chapter today? Of course!” Thirty minutes and a few sentences later: “finish the paragraph today? OBVIOUSLY!” And then I get three sentences done. But even that doesn’t diminish the feeling I get when I start working. I…
I struggle against the concept of permanent failure, probably because failure to me always means coming back and trying again in a different way. Failure is impetus for harder work, and certainly isn’t permanent. If anything, failure is transitory.
If you shuffle a regular deck of 52 playing cards, statistically, you’ve just created something completely original. Something that the universe has never seen.
Brilliance is an interesting thing to define. What some folks consider brilliant, others scoff at, and vice versa. It’s a subjective world, but it’s the world in which we live. The problem lies in the ease (for most) of reading, as opposed to the ease of writing.
Even if your prose would make McCarthy cry with jealousy, your book will not see the light of day without a well-crafted query.
Place yourself in a writer’s shoes, and you find yourself in an interesting situation. First of all, why’d you steal those shoes? Do they even fit you? Secondly, a person asks you “what’s your book about?” the primary modus used to explain books is by genre. And that’s where I answer “well, it’s a fantasy book,” and already people jump to conclusions about the book and the quality of the story.