Over on Tumblr, I found this quote on kristensnotebook and I think it’s true.
“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” – William Faulkner
I’ve read things and been enchanted with the emotions they pull from me, and then read something else and thought, “This isn’t very good. They’re telling me what happens, and they aren’t fleshing anything out to give it depth or meaning.” We may not always consciously read that way, but there is usually a general sense we get about what we’ve read. If the book is good, we tend to reread it, sometimes more than once, and as we do we notice tiny details that play into making it so ‘good’.
I am a fan of the Harry Potter books, but not particularly of the movies after about the third one. But even with the early movies, if I sit down to watch them, I find myself thinking, “Why bother with this abbreviated version when I can just read the original and get the full flavor?” More often than not, I’ll turn off the movie and pick up the book. And whatever is prompting me to do that is probably the same thing that has prompted so very many people to read and love these books.
That’s just one example, and not everyone will be writers like J.K. Rowling, but don’t we want to strive for that level where readers love to feast on our smorgasbord of words and ideas?
“What’s right isn’t always popular, and what’s popular isn’t always right.”
“English is weird. It can be understood through tough, thorough, thought though.”
– unknown (teeshirt saying found in Signals.com catalog)
I found the above in a catalog, and though merely intended as humor, it has a ring of truth to it. I’ve heard that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn, because unlike most other languages, we have a fairly blatant disregard for common rules. “Here’s the rule, except when it’s not…” seems to be the standard. Even so, as writers, it is our task to make those words all come together in a way that makes sense to the reader, and hopefully has meaning beyond the correctness of the wording.
Best of luck in your writing endeavors this new year. I’ve rather been languishing myself, but a recent burst of inspiration has spawned two short fan fiction stories (in a new universe than the one I usually write), with a third in progress. Hey, I’ll take what I can get if it motivates me writing again. I’ll work on going back to my WIP in due course.
“No man is completely worthless. They can all be a bad example.” – Unknown
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
We read to know we’re not alone.
– William Nicholson, screenwriter, in “Shadowlands” movie [often mistakenly attributed to C. S. Lewis]
“When will my reflection show who I am inside?” — Mulan
Songwriters: David Zippel / Matthew Wilder [see for the full lyrics of the song: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/christinaaguilera/reflection.html ]
“All roads lead there, child. You should know that.”
(Percy Jackson, book “The Son of Neptune”)