Friday, January 6, 2012

See-Hear-Speak No Evil

See No Evil!

Beginner writers jump into their work with both feet.  Their eagerness and sometimes overconfidence drive them forward in their quest to write the next great novel, play, poem, etc.  They see no evil in their writing.  There are no mispelled words, no dangling participles, no grey areas in their stories where their readers are left wondering just who WAS that masked man who stopped by on page 23? New writers have a naive innocence when it comes to the actual craft of writing and are sometimes blind to their own weaknesses.

Hear No Evil!

Friends and family of beginner writers are sometimes just as bad.  In their loving efforts to encourage the budding author, they tell the new writer what they "think" that new writer needs to hear.  These aren't words meant to help improve writing skills, but to stroke the ego.  This leaves the beginner writer with the impression that their work is far stronger than it needs to be.
Speak No Evil!

Can you see the pattern emerging?  The beginner writer lives in a bubble where he or she thinks their writing can't be improved.  Why?  Because they have not sharpened their writing skills and they don't see the flaws in their own work.  And the people they depend on to validate their efforts...i.e. friends and family...have added to that problem by not speaking honestly about the gaps between the rough draft and the polished finish.

Now the beginner writer discovers other beginner writers.  Maybe they get together and form a critique group.  But now they are speaking no evil.  They can't help their writer buddies to improve THEIR writing skills because they don't know how to improve their OWN.  So the cycle continues and a new generation of poorly written manuscripts float out into the world...to land on some poor publisher or agent's desk for them to deal with...or even worse...in some online ebook world as a representation of well written works of art.

So what's a writer to do?




Ask for help!  Find books on the subject of improving your writing skills.  Discover critique groups who offer honest insights into how to strengthen your story.  Read the works of other established authors to see what works in today's world.  There are many ways to become a better writer...you just need to be willing to work at it.




Be truthful to both yourself and others.  Encourage other writers to keep working hard to be the best they can be.  Uplift and strengthen the world of writing through your efforts so that everyone can reap the benefits.  At the end of the day you can look back and be proud of the writer you have become!

Then, it's time to...relax...







17 comments:

  1. Great post, and then there is the time that beginning author hones her skills and writes, stops listening to the inner critic and soars.

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  2. Another aspect of "hear no evil" is the unwillingness to listen to constructive criticism -- to let it totally deflate the fledgling writer. Sometimes when we're just starting out, any feedback can seem "evil" when really it might be just what the new writer needs to hear.

    Thanks, Donna!

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  3. Louise, thanks for stopping by! Come back any time!

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  4. Thanks, Louise, for stopping by. Come back any time!

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  5. Thanks, T. Forehand! I would have addressed you by your first name but I don't know what it is...lol...

    I agree with what you mentioned about soaring...when I stop listening to my inner negative critic, my words can fly! ;0)

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  6. Beth, how true! I forgot about that one! My post today was more of a reflection of some of the things I might have been guilty of in the past and I hope I didn't sound too "preachy"...was actually trying to give some examples and then some ways to help with those "beginner" issues...lol...

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. This is why I read your blogs. They are clever and encouraging. I can not wait for the next one!

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  8. Awww, thanks Janet! Sometimes I wonder if you aren't my biggest fan...lol...

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  9. Great Post Donna. Have heard this saying many times and love the connection here to writing.

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  10. Yes, very true. When I wrote my first novel (in a month!) I just KNEW that every word had hit the page perfectly. Turns out, besides being too short to qualify as adult fiction, my novel was just a step in the process. With every query/editing/critiquing experience, your writing grows stronger. Now I've written a second book, and started a third...I learn new techniques with each one. And now, I actually welcome a good critique!

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  11. Thanks, Diane! Hope you have a great weekend!

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  12. I'm glad you stopped by, Heather! What type of novels do you write? And I agree with about how one's writing gets stronger over time. I too also like a good critique because it gives me specific areas to work on. Thanks for stopping by...come back any time!

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  13. Another inspirational post, Donna! Thank you! I love that kitten at the end :)

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  14. Thanks, Loni, for stopping by! I love that kitten too! That's me at the end of a hard week...zzzzzz...lol

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  15. I just saw your follow-up question, Donna, sorry! My first novel was paranormal fiction (more info on my blog) and my second (huge leap here) is historical fiction. Who knows what my third will be? But hoping the historical fiction will someday soon see the light of (published) day!

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  16. I have a fascination with historical fiction as well! Actually have two different ideas that I would love to expand on but right now I write children's PB stories, MG novels, YA novels, essays, and this blog as well as working full time managing a martial arts training center so that doesn't leave me much time for the historical novels right now...lol...

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