You have been going to your local coffee shop like Starbucks to write. Or maybe you enjoy writing at local library. Then all of a sudden the Coronavirus hits. You are thrusted into writing in an environment you don’t want to write in. You have to write at home, which isn’t always good, especially when aggravation rises from being cooped up with your family. When you are in lockdown and can’t go to where you want to go, it sucks. Then things started opening up and you could write outside, but that leads to swatting at flies, dodging bees, or running away from spiders. Safe to say, you have trouble concentrating during this time. So what do you do? How do you keep your confidence up in a time that doesn’t look good?
With any lockdown situation, you have to make the best of a worst situation. This is what Joe’s Writers’ Club did. What turned into an in-person meeting became an online presence. The meeting stayed open and we continued to meet virtually. We started Google Chats with each other and used other means of communication such as Zoom. Everyone has been working hard at putting a product out there that can help writers of all kinds.
Joe’s Writers’ Club has improved my confidence. It has helped me to work and contribute to a cause greater than my own. Even with Corona going on, it didn’t stop me as a writer. It was just a matter of facing the storm. Sometimes as a writer we have to get comfortable writing somewhere new. Times are rough right now, but if your family is interrupting your writing, you can use a pair of headphones to avoid their distraction. I know it’s not easy, but sooner or later things will get better.
You probably had a favorite place that went to everyday, and unfortunately, some businesses closed down permanently. Maybe even your favorite coffee shop. But it’s best to not get discouraged. You will find a new place when this pandemic is over. And you may have to try different places to find out which one feels best for you. For now, that’s not so easy. Lots of places, like Starbucks, are still not allowing people to stay inside for long periods of time. So unless you’ve found comfort at home or in a park, writing hasn’t been the easiest.
Thankfully, the worst may have passed with all of the vaccines that have been administered. (I’m not saying if getting vaccinated is right or wrong; that decision is yours to make.) All I’m saying is maybe in time we will write where we did before, but as of now with a writer it is a matter of learning to be comfortable writing in uncomfortable places. It just takes stepping out of your comfort zone to get to the point where you feel at ease. Maybe a library is open. Maybe you can sit outside a coffee house. Just don’t lose hope. Things will get better.
Today, I would like to talk about how certain elements in writing can contribute to enabling a reader to show emotion in reaction to what the author has put on the page. Sometimes the author has the ability to make the reader laugh out loud due to a rather character’s sarcastic tone or simply a bit of slapstick . Other times the reader can be trapped in a scene based on what’s happening to a particular character in the book. A reader will sense a feeling of fear as to what is happening in between pages, notably in the horror genre. That is the aspect I want to focus on today.
Fear can be displayed many ways, and affects the reader, the viewer, and can influence your muse when drawing inspiration from either a movie or a book. Currently I am working on a second draft for our writing club of a type of horror-related drama involving a summer camp. Putting the pieces together at first was pretty easy, but it was the second draft that really had an impact on my psyche. The feedback I received regarding the first draft included the fact that there needed to be more of a fear element to make it look more daunting and ominous.
Originally, I had a really good scene involving a groundskeeper at the campsite warning the counselors, before the start of actual camp, that something was not right. He told them to beware of a certain something on campus. Does it sound somewhat familiar? If you are a horror movie buff then it should. This circumstance is a template of a scene from the first two Friday the 13th movies. Crazy Ralph is the old man who warns the counselors of Camp Crystal Lake not to work at the summer camp due to a murder spree that happened previously on or near the original camp site.
Romance blossoming at Camp Crystal Lake
My story falls into the genre of what my writing group likes to call “Corporate Gothic”, which is defined as a story that intertwines the concept of a workspace and an element of horror. The workspace in my story is the camp setting and the element of horror is the condition of the water on the campus. If someone doesn’t drink from the right source, they could die. That lets the reader know that the protagonist could be in trouble and leads to a sense of fear for both the characters in the story and quite possibly the readers themselves.
Although the basis of my story might not sound too “horrific”, it can still teach us a lesson in basic fear and how to overcome the tragedy within the story. Fear can also teach us a lesson in morality and how we handle relationships going forward. Usually, the end all to a story or a movie wraps up with some positive advice for both the reader or the viewer. So, next time you’re out and about on a camping trip or want to explore that cabin in the woods, beware that silly old man telling tales and stay safe out there!
Everyone wants to be successful in life, especially aspiring writers. Writing is a tough gig no matter how you look at it. The process is long, draining, and ultimately complex. I used to think that the toughest part of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel was completing that very first draft. Although it does take a toll on your free time and the resources dedicated to research on the internet, it is by far easier than fixing up your manuscript. Once you’ve completed the first draft, you have to find an editor and then go back and fix anything that he or she has pinpointed and hope your first edit survives the eye test. That’s just the beginning. Don’t get discouraged. This is a long and grueling process for every writer no matter how long you’ve been in the biz or how many times you’ve been published. You can imagine that it gets easier. From personal experience, I’m not there yet, but there are people out there that can help you. The resources are realistically endless. There’s always someone who has a connection to someone or some company. I want to talk about rejection. It’s arguably the most commonplace thing when it comes to manuscripts. I’ve seen it so many times (as have you): people close to me being rejected left and right, and for the same manuscript no less. Some could be receiving more rejection letters than regular mail on a weekly basis. It’s possible if you put yourself out there enough. It breaks my heart knowing that they are going through this and that I myself will have to endure this cumbersome process. The trick to surviving it all is the ability to push it aside and wait for the next great opportunity. Don’t take it personally and don’t show your frustration. It’s happening to everyone around you. When it comes to being published or even signing a TV or movie deal, you’re going to need to find an agent. People say that finding an agent is like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s mind blowing. I’ve seen situations where an agent would confirm that he would get back to a client and then disappear into thin air. It’s probably the most deflating and depressing feeling a writer can go through. Don’t get discouraged by the feedback you receive from an editor. Don’t even take it personally from other writers that are close friends. If you take it personally, you’ll drive yourself into the ground. Being part of a writing group has its advantages, but do not reject the guidance of the people around you. They’re there to help you along your process, not watch you fail.
The First Harry Potter Book
To close, I just want to mention that countless famous authors have struggled including the likes of J.K. Rowling and
James Patterson. Rowling has numerous quotes regarding failure in the writing industry and Patterson was rejected a dozen times before finding an agent in the newspaper. We all fail. It’s just a matter of whether we want to get up and try again, over and over.
Creative Polish is an analysis of one’s literary voice for optimization. Not for grammar as much as for poetic elevations and mythic tone. This radical method suggests that one should overwrite, to go beyond systemized reductionism in order to transcend the language of the day. Editors trim for clarity or to emphasize proper grammar, which is their job, but some would delete glory because to them, it’s all been done before. Might as well tell the sun not to rise while we’re at it…
A good creative polish seeks to challenge the readership rather than bring everything down to the fourth-grade level. It’s more for creative obsessors than hobbyists. Having read much and been greatly inspired, and having a regular muse flash leading unto creative obsession, you will want to obsess over the words already written.
So… Having written in bliss from out of a bright muse flash nagging you sweetly all day, you return to the text the next chance you get to creatively polish the work.
Creative Polish Guidelines:
1: remember the chapter (section) you are polishing, because themes and scenarios should shape language and Inspire voice. (action pace, creepy pace, dialogue, etc)
2: when you read any sentence, look for the poem that could be there. No matter what the subject, no matter what the demographic, just remember eternity and forget now. Write to be rediscovered on post-apocalyptic bookshelves centuries from now after WW7, fearing no contemporary naysay or caution.
3: when you encounter the turning of a phrase, take care not to disturb its textual ecstasy. Butterflies are better with wings ON them…
4: vocabulary must challenge in order to compliment the reader’s intelligence. Be courageous with both existing terms and fictitious wordsmithing, from which all linguistic enchantment derives its fantastical delirium. Example: time machine
Let your obsession reach for perfection, but don’t embrace perfectionism.
Believe in what the muse brought to mind.
It is necessary to self-edit, self workshop, self-optimize.
It is unnecessary to be your own worst critic.
Some words will stay, some shall be rewritten, others deleted. The ones that remain from out of the original muse flash must quiver with mythic resonance, each sentence a poem, each phrase a mystery. Even if you were writing about mundane concepts, your voice should still be beaming bright so that the muse may be honored.
Adore the process, love the satisfaction, seek more from the muse, give praise to what you revere. You know what you like and dislike, and this polarity helps focus your voice. Your voice is emergent from creative obsession, is harmonized into oneness by reading well and writing lots, and so is both consciousness and unconscious in nature. Unconsciousness is limitless, and the words of muse and voice can transcend amazing thresholds of beauty and ugliness, profoundly touching both heart and soul.
Some people start from the beginning, 1: What Is Your Inspiration; some from the middle, 5: Creative Workshopping; and some from the end, 10: Adaptive Bookcraft. No matter what stage you are in or what direction the development takes, JWC Paragraphic Rift has a way for you to dial in and access the creative edit.
Let’s see if we can learn from each other’s dreams and grow as writers together.
I think you would be amazed at the notion that if you create a character, in some capacity, you might begin to feel for that character. The whole concept of character development is initially intended to make the reader want to root for them in one way or another. But what if you had read 300 pages of a novel and all of a sudden you begin to feel for the character? It’s typical for a writer to become vested in said character, but to a reader it’s somewhat different. If you can pull off good character development, then getting the reader to buy in might be easy, but it can be difficult. Use of emotions and dialogue can press the issue when creating a character’s persona. You want your character to have layers. You want them to care about others and be cared for in the same notion. Without these, it can be quite difficult to root for that particular character. Build their persona with experiences in the novel. You can even do it with flashbacks.
Laura Linney’s character on Netflix’s Ozark is a great example of a strong female character.
Most importantly, you want the reader to care about what’s happening to all of your main characters. Without that care, they might as well not even read the book. What’s the purpose? If we don’t care about the character, what is our purpose of reading it? That is the most important aspect of the book. Any author can conjure up a good setting, action sequence, or tangible description of a character’s being. Here are some pointers as far as what to look for in developing a character we want to root for. First, build a foundation with a detailed description of not just what they look like physically, but also their personality specifically. For example, in a novel I’m working on now, we are introduced to Amanda Smith,one of the main protagonists, but the character development doesn’t focus on her. It focuses on her mother. We know Smith can be tough as nails and not take any flack from any opposition. Where does she get it? You guessed it. From her mother. Forming a relationship indirectly in that fashion gives us an idea of the family dynamic. Next, we use dialogue to really get in the head of her mother. She’s a cool customer when she needs to be. Her dialogue shows it. An excerpt from the novel shows us that she knows when to do what she has to do. “Get your ass in here now, Amanda Smith. You’ve got a lot of explaining to do!” or “Denise Smith slowly sipped her golden, brown tea.” This builds consistency throughout the novel. It’s actually an inconsistent consistency, but it works. She can be a hard ass in one scene but, low key in the next. It’s all part of character. The behavior becomes a “consistent thing” as you go deeper into the novel. Lastly, I want to share that I’m guilty as charged. I feel for her character and haven’t even finished the novel yet! I want to know what she eats for breakfast and what she’s going to do when she finds out that Amanda has yet again skipped detention to go to the mall with her friends. I give a crap about what she wears around the house and what her favorite TV show is, whether it’s The Wireor Ozark. Point made. This is what happens when the author grips you with good character development. I sure hope a good future awaits Denise Smith!
Ask anyone who has loves a good horror story and I’ll bet he’s read something by H. P. Lovecraft. While he wasn’t the best writer of fiction, even in his time, he has become as influential as Edgar Allan Poe in the genre. Few people can read The Dunwich Horror or TheCall of Cthulhu and not know true terror. So convincing are his tales that there are some who believe that he wrote from actual ancient legends.
Lovecraft’s tales not only spun great yarns but they also, on occasion, dropped some uncomfortable wisdom on us. The following is merely a sample of that wisdom. Some of it could be disturbing to our beliefs, but that intention came with every story. My comments will be in italicsso as to not confuse the readers.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
These words should be on the wall of every writer who tells stories where fear is present, whether they are Horror, SF, Adventure Or Mystery. The Unknown is the greatest creator of fear and infinite in scope. How many people can walk into a dark room without pausing for a second, wondering what could be hiding in the dark? Not many, I would imagine.
I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams.
Ah, then, these are the true sources of a person’s motivations. Thoughts and dreams are what inspires us and what we aspire to. It’s what drives us to move beyond our dreary existence.
If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.
Religion, then, has become a source of indoctrination, whether we accept that concept or not. What is used to get us to stay in the fold? Fear is a major source of getting people to comply with the doctrine.
I am disillusioned enough to know that no man’s opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he’s talking about.
All the education in the world is useless unless it is applied toward making sense of the world around us. Any idiot can have an opinion, but even someone with a small amount of education can make that opinion worth hearing.
All of my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and emotions have no validity or significance in the cosmos-at-large.
We Humans have no clue what is in store for us in the Cosmos at large. We should be afraid to leave our little home here in the middle of nowhere in the Milky Way. What we believe matters not to Those Who Are Watching from Out There.
It is a mistake to fancy that horror is associated inextricably with darkness, silence, and solitude.
Yes, I believe that the most horrifying things happen in broad daylight, under the glare of the sun. in Stephen King’s THE MIST, for example, a lot of the action takes place before lunchtime. Darkness only gives what’s hiding out there places to regroup for the next day’s hunting.
Horrors, I believe, should be original – the use of common myths and legends being a weakening influence.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales are excellent and should be read in their original form. But they are just food for the writer’s imagination. As a foundation, they can provide any number of inspired ideas for your work. But don’t stop there. The various myths of the ancient World are also good for ideas, for they are filled to overflowing with heroes and monsters. Take advantage of them.
One can never produce anything as terrible and impressive as one can awesomely hint about.
The great power that old-time Radio shows had that no other medium has ever equaled is that it used audio only. No pictures, no video, nothing but the power of words to create images in people’s minds. Our imagination can make greater horrors than any SFX company could EVER create.
The end of a story must be stronger rather than weaker than the beginning, since it is the end which contains the denouement or culmination and which will leave the strongest impression upon the reader.
Nothing is worse than a story that just ends without a revelation of some sort. A horror story without the situation coming to a head in the last page or two is not worth reading.
It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth’s dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be let alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests.
Be careful where you go looking in your quest to quench your curiosity. That old abandoned mine may have been boarded up because something lives in there that wants to be left alone. While the deepest darkest corners of the Amazon jungles may contain wonders that could revolutionize Science, don’t be too sure that there aren’t things in the trees that don’t want you to visit. Do you have a favorite Lovecraft quote? Or a favorite quote from any author? Let us know below in the comments or tweet them to us at @JoesWritersClub.
Why Monsters? For the past three years, I have been writing stories about monsters of all sorts. My take on them, I hope, is to create creatures that no one has ever seen or a twist on a familiar beastie that creates new connotations for its existence.
What do you like to see in a Monster? Do you like Classical Critters who have been nipping at Mankind’s heels since we hid in caves? Or would you like to meet something that has no name, will not communicate with Us, and will eat you without a second thought?
My work strives to inhabit that territory between the Known and the Never Known. Still, there are those writers who would like to craft a story about a fiend or two and have no idea where to start. Believe me, I’ve been there. Creating Monsters is not easy unless your name is Frankenstein. Take my hand and I’ll help guide you into the Art of Monster Making.
From Hell It Came- 1957
What Is A Monster? From Dictionary.com comes this. Any creature so ugly or monstrous as to frighten people, or any animal or human grotesquely deviating from the normal shape, behavior, or character.
That covers a lot of ground. Most of us think something larger than us can be monstrous. In the sense I am talking about, it is something natural, but out of its natural setting. A lion is not seen as unusual in the zoo or on an African plain. But put one in Times Square and you have yourself a monster of a problem.
Ordinary creatures as monsters can make for terrific stories. I recommend the film CRAWL for anyone looking for some thrills. Sure, they are alligators, but they are in someone’s house. And they’re hungry. Monsters? Yes.
A monster can be anything that menaces someone. Even a bird can be menacing, as in THE BIRDS by Daphne Di Maurier. Smaller even are the ants from “Leiningen Versus the Ants” by Carl Stephenson is terrifying because there are about Four Billion of the things in one place. Smaller? Try “The Andromeda Strain” by Michael Crichton.
Monsters Are A Vital Part Of Our Human Chronicle. We see ourselves in many of the monsters we encounter. That’s as true for Mr. Hyde as it is for the ten foot long ants in THEM!. Those ants were created by the genius mind of Man, and their eating us is more than we might deserve.
Poor Dr. Frankenstein. His intentions are honorable. He just went a little too far, especially when he sets out to create a mate for his creation. When he freezes to death in the Arctic, the last person he sees is the Creature he sewed together. But the Creature survives to the end of the book! We have a perfect opening for sequels, of which there are at least a dozen good ones.
Put the person in your Monster. Dr. Frankenstein had little humanity. It was his Creature who showed what it is to be Human. If your thing has at least one human-like trait, your reader will identify a bit with it. More traits equal a more human-like entity.
The Creation And Care Of Unique Monsters. How does your thing come to exist? Has it always been here, waiting for an opportunity to strike? Did someone create it, from some new experiment or looking in places where they shouldn’t be looking? Your origin has to be something logical, no matter how strange the result of that exploration or research.
What does It like to eat? Does it run when It sees someone coming? Is It the only one, or is It waiting for the right time and place to reproduce? What does It need to reproduce? Does It want to kill at random, or does It just want to go home? Perhaps It has a name and is angry because they don’t address It by that label.
X, The Unknown. 1956 Hammer Films
Bringing Your Monster Out Into The Open. Billy-Bob the Slime has just oozed out of Crater Lake, looking for a mate and a good meal. Nobody knows this because Billy-Bob cannot speak. He can only eat and lust. What’s there to do? If you’re Billy-Bob, you’ll ignore any attempts to set you on fire, blow you up or poison you until you get the two, and only two, things on your mind taken care of.
On the other hand, the Army and the Scientists see a ten-ton pool of red slime come out of the water and eat 100 people who were at the lake’s edge taking pictures of the red goo. Shoot it or blow it up, says the Colonel. Drive it between these two electrodes and fry it, says the Scientist. If that doesn’t work, there’s always a handy atom bomb at the nearby airbase.
Your monster has to make an appearance sometime. Make the reveal count. In “Quatermass And The Pit”, the menace behind everything is Hob, the racial memory of our long-dead Martian Masters. Its appearance over London comes at the very end of the story, but we’ve been anticipating it showing up for the entire time.
It doesn’t have to be a big jump scare. It can be subtle and sneak up on your reader. Those are the best kind of scares, the ones standing next to you until you turn around and see them.
Fighting A Common Enemy And Bringing People Together. When monsters strike, it brings the community together. In “Night of the Cooters” by Howard Waldrop, the Martians land outside of a small Texas town. The townspeople gather together and blow them to Hell.
To bring people together, just add a monster or two. It doesn’t have to be a lot of people. The survivors who can still see in “The Day of the Triffids” number only a few at first. Disparate bands of people eventually gather together and take a stand against the marauding carnivorous plants.
Any good monster will bring out the torches and pitchforks in us. When In Doubt, Just Shoot It was the motto in the 1950s. Their call was right practically every time, but the poor creatures always paid a heavy price despite the fact that often they were innocent. The shark from JAWS followed his instincts and his hunger. When he’s picked on, his lust for vengeance causes him to go after the three men in the boat. The shark could have swum away and eaten somewhere else. If the town had not hired the Sheriff, the Fisherman and the Scientist, the Shark could have eaten a dozen more people.
Create a crisis that brings the common folk to the fight. Among them are where the true heroes lie.
Bringing Out Your Character’s True Nature With A Monster. Danger and adversity will bring out the real person inside of your characters. For every six heroes fighting off a fearsome menace, there’s one coward who runs off with the explosives. Every story needs a balance of good and awful people. Let the coward run away, as long as he gets eaten at the end with the dynamite lit.
A crisis will always reveal heroes. 9/11 is a good example, as is the American Revolution. A monster, by its existence, is crisis personified. As much as Chace Winstead wanted to run away with everyone else, he chose to drive his hot rod filled with nitroglycerin into THE GIANT GILA MONSTER. Alex Rogan could have stayed home on Earth and waited for from Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada to destroy the planet. Instead, he chose to stay and become THE LAST STARFIGHTER.
The Monster Of Piedras Blancas. 1959 VanWick Productions
Metaphors, Monsters And Reality. Monsters don’t always have to be just monsters. They can represent something about us as human beings. Godzilla represented the atom bomb, and it came from Japan, the only country ever hit with atom bombs. The current Zombie craze can be seen as a representation of such diseases as VD or HIV.
The Silicates from “THE ISLAND OF TERROR” are products of renegade cancer research. These entities suck the bones out of any creature, leaving an empty husk behind. While we are being scared to death, we are given a lesson about following the rules and not keeping things a secret.
In reality, these monsters are trying to tell us that there are perils when it comes to being Human. The robots in “WESTWORLD” are Us, right down to their eyes. Where does the person end and where does the robot begin? Will we be able to tell when someone has crossed over from human to non-human? Time will tell, and your story can give us a monster that is very close to ourselves.
What’s Behind Your Door? The very things that make us Human also can tear the Humanity from our souls. Watch out for that monster. It could be your uncle. Man’s cruelty to another man is the fuel that creates real-life monsters. Godzilla, the Silicates and the Frankenstein Monster are warnings to not take any idea too far. One small misstep and the world is overrun by vampires, the Undead or Triffids. When you write a story, choose the doors you open with care. Your job is to scare the reader, and that means picking the door that reads “Do Not Enter. The Dead Are In Here.”
My Favorite Monsters. To round out this piece, let me tell you about my preferred organisms of horror.
Triffids by John Wyndham.
Slime by Joseph Payne Brennan.
The Creature from Frankenstein.
The Weeping Angels from Blink (Doctor Who).
Hob from Quatermass and The Pit.
The Thing From Another World.
The Silicates from “Island of Terror.”
The Id Monster from “Forbidden Planet.”
Thank you for your time. Always, You can come on by and comment on this or anything else at JoesWritersClub.com
Joe’s Writers Club’s Paragraphic Rift is a blog devoted to the improvement of one’s literary voice and overall creative power. We take you from inspiration to a creative obsession, and from your own personal creative obsession into the creative obsessions of others.
Once you have the networking of minds, brainstorming, creative workshopping, and adaptive book craft meetings between active creators take your own projects to the next level.
Do you have issues with confidence or presentation? Does your manuscript sit and sit without a way forward? You have but to access our JWC-XYZ program and use the techniques in order to improve your voice, maximize your muse, and acquire a target audience. Climb with us into the Paragraphic Rift and explore the depths of therapeutic creativity.
This is our Writer’s Accelerator
JWC-XYZ Writer’s Accelerator: Creative Editing:
Bold Numbers = Start / Stage Orientation
Analysis for Voice: Page, Theme, Outline, Comb editing the text
1: What was your inspiration?
2: How loyal are you to your Muse?
3: Have you imposed narrative Timelessness?
4: Have you Polished your text?
5: Have you done any Creative Workshopping?
6: Have you Weaponized the Core?
7: Have you imposed narrative Temporality?
8: Have you checked narrative Continuity?
9: Have you checked for Redundancy in your text?
10: Have you imposed Adaptive Book Craft criteria?
Analysis for Voice: Overview
Although there is no true order for this creative editing / self workshop checklist, we will proceed with a one to ten explanation.
1: What was your inspiration?
5: Have you done any Creative Workshopping?
10: Have you imposed Adaptive Book Craft criteria?
Keep in mind that X: 1-5-10 may be “started” at 1,5, or 10, depending on the development of the project or draft of the text.
The purpose of the JWC-XYZ format is to help in interfacing / developing one’s literary voice, and that all of these factors from point 1-5-10 have an importance, but some may pertain to a deficiency in what you are writing.
Going down the list and transposing all the factors involved will aid in pointing out what it is you think is off.
Each factor was boiled down from FAQ and or observations during self workshopping and even creative workshopping within a writer’s circle such as Joe’s Writers’ Club.
The following is a point by point for definitions as well as functionality.
How does one attain inspiration? A wise old creative writer once said that you have to read well to write well, and as obvious as this sounds it is not a default setting for young writers.
Another angle is to write what you like to read.
Obsess over what you wish to create, obsess over what you love to read, and what you find from such obsession will fuel your creativity.
A creative obsession is how one attains a “literary voice,” otherwise known as a style or characteristic distinctive to their own writing.
1A: Write what you like to read
Talent assessment: journal, poetry, novel, drama?
If you wish to inform, take up Journalism. If you wish to transform, take up Poetics. If you wish to express, be a Novelist. If you wish to impress, be a dramatist.
If you need to write about a flower field, then go find one and write what your poetic senses tell you. Sketch the flowers, the dew, sunlight, the flight path of bees, and any beasts you see meandering amid the outreaching nature at play. Study the way architecture sits, on what hill, composed of what, in what state of completion or ruination, so that those who read have a basis to plug into. It is in the writer’s seeking that they come to discover the way in which their talent flows. How else will you learn to obsess?
Explore ceaselessly… Learn to be creatively obsessive. Learning to paint? View color. Learning to write? View drama. Baptize yourself in what’s cool, what’s wicked, what’s awesome, so that what you dig becomes second nature. Pursue fascination and seek awe in everything you dig. (Dig = your understanding) Rising from what you dig is a muse of a lifetime, and this data should be assessed, its potentiality in a creative agent is to be outlined so that one’s personal ability may be known. Find awe in words. Study authors, and then obsess on who said authors read. Pursue the lineage and descendancy of all language until the symmetry of myth is opened to you.
1B: Read Well, Write Well
How many books read / loved? How many books read / hated? How many books read / blah? How many books read / obsessed? Add them up, so that you have some idea of how much further you have to go. Our / your goal is to double that number!
So read double as many, and know there is no way to fail…
If you think you know enough, know that you could never know enough. If you think that you need to learn, know that you can never learn / know anything. If you believe that dreams come true, know that dreams are timeless goals. Temporal goals are for today, timeless goals are the dreams we seek for always. Only to the lover of a dream, does the dream unfold.
The great Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.”
Baptize yourself in temporal goals based in daily attainable satisfaction
Dream seemingly impossible dreams… and never give up
Take the 1B: challenge yourself over the next year or two… See if your muse doesn’t brighten!