I’m sure any writers who don’t retire after NaNoWriMo is over will know exactly what I’m talking about.
You’re browsing through your favorite writing forums as you relax on the comfort of your gluteus maximus resting against your glorious throne (in my case a $50 dollar chair from Costco).
You chuckle at the plebians crying for help and you dowse yourself with a reality check for your daily dose of crippling depression about your own writing.
Or, I don’t know. Maybe you just had nothing better to do on the toilet.
But this sacred ritual is plagued, as it often is, by the redundant questions that you’ve seen countless times on a weekly basis that fills up the pages of your favorite writing forums. And it’s even more than the usual because ’tis the season.
Don’t they know how to search?
Haven’t they cracked open a book before?
Isn’t there some sort of a VlogBrother piece about this?
Tell me honestly that you haven’t seen these multiple times before:
“Can I make my character ‘X'”? / “How do I make my character interesting?”
By writing them interestingly.
If people can write interesting stories about silly characters like Superman and whiny angsty kids like Holden–you can do it too!
If you have talent.
But let’s be real. Most of us don’t have talent.
We just have fun writing.
I was told that’s okay.
“How do you write women?”
Like any other person.
Add the colors of their individuality later. Like complaining about menstrual pain. Because that defines women. For men, you can make them constantly worry about the size of their penis. Because that defines men.
See? I insult both.
What? What about hermaphrodites?
Unless your mother is a hermaphrodite. Then-she’s-a-respectablel-lady-who’ve-gone through-something-not-many-of-us-have-gone-through-and-I-hope-she’s-okay-with-the-choice-that-she-made -on-what-sex-she-wanted-to-be.
Don’t sue me. I’m poor.
“Should I do X?”
No. Don’t do it.
Yes! Do it!
I don’t know. Go ask James Patterson.
It’s impossible to answer that question without actually reading your work. Even then, remember that even Tolkien was told Lord of the Rings was a terrible idea by his peers.
But, again, let’s be real. 90% of writers are too afraid to let others read their work and 75% are too lazy and/or uncaring to read other people’s work.
To be fair–the latter is fair. Why should we spend our precious time reading your book when people probably won’t even read it for free?
Don’t you know we’re too busy caring only about our feeble writing careers? Do you think we’re made of spare eyes that we can replace from the ones that burst staring at little tiny symbols all day? We’ll lay waste to our eyesights with our own crap thank you very much!
Know your work well enough to answer that question for yourself or find beta readers… I.E. Probably your friends and family members who you’ve successfully guilt-tripped to helping for free.
Just in case some of you are actually doing that… 9/10 they won’t help.
If they’re saying good thing–it’s useless. They love you and care about dumb things like your feelings. If they say terrible things–well, apparently it was that bad. Which, I guess, is helpful.
Just find strangers. Hop into their tinted white vans and shove your manuscript into their faces. Stranger danger doesn’t apply here.
Please be advised that this content is meant for comedic effect and none of anything the writer says should be taken seriously or with any sort of credence. Don’t sue him. He’s poor.
“Is this original?”
No. It’s not.
You’re not either. Your mother, your school, and your girlfriend/boyfriend lied to you. There are no such things as special snowflakes. Even if it was original, we’d tell you it isn’t because we’d be jealous or want to pretend we’re intelligent and we’ve encountered it before.
How you can be original isn’t with the formulas, but you can be original with the presentation of the formulas.
Have your own voice. Your own take. And do it with confidence.
People will respect someone who didn’t pull their punches and gave it their all rather than wimpy little attempts that made no noise or mark anywhere.
Just remember Robert Downey Jr.’s sage advice: “Never go full retard.”
Even if you went “full retard” (his words, not mine) if you gave it your all… then at least you’ll have a clearer picture of what you did wrong. If you were wishy-washy with your voice, it’d have been a lot foggier to determine exactly what you did right and what you did wrong.
Like anything else in life: Don’t be afraid to fail. Just be afraid of not learning from the failures.
Or the crippling depression that comes from failures.
And the subsequent anxiety attacks when you get up and attempt again at possible more failures.
And the sad looks you get from your family and friends as they wonder where you’ve gone wrong.
Yeah! Just be honest with yourself and give it your all to tell the story you want to tell in the best way that you want to tell it!
I’m no expert when it comes to writing. Not even close. But these are questions that even amateur writers could answer because they are basics of the basics of creative writing…
…THAT YOU COULD HAVE ANSWERED FOR YOURSELF WITH A LITTLE REFLECTION.
JUST TAKES A LITTLE LOGIC.
USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION NEXT TIME.