Blogs by Ronnie Ray Jenkins
Staying True To Yourself
8/2/2012 8:04:40 AM
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A lesson learned long ago, about staying true to your works.
One of the most important lessons in writing that I've come to learn over the years is staying true to your writing. What do I mean by this? Simply write about the things you know, or experienced. How can one portray to a reader what it feels like to be burned by a match, if one has not experienced such a feeling. This is an extreme example, but I hope it gets the point across.
Writing requires a willingness to tell the truth. When it comes to character development, we must make the character grow in front of the reader. Every little thing that effects the character adds up to make him or her larger than life in a sense.
Taking bits and pieces from your childhood, or the people you have met can often times be used in fiction. For example, if you owned only two pair of ragged jeans as a child, and it bothered you that you did, express that. Why not, there is no shame in being true. Readers want to become a part of your book and experience those same pangs as you did washing those jeans over and over to wear again.
If you had to ride around in a rusted old car at some point in life, don't make it a Corvette. You couldn't possibly describe a Corvette, that you never rode in as well as-- you could in the old jalopy that rattled down the road. What you do by not being true is what I call, "writing too hard." A good reader can spot when an author is writing so hard to get a point across because the author is spending time thinking about, "how can I express to the reader what it's like in this Corvette?"
Those bits and pieces of life, the things that bothered you, the things you found important as a child all can be combined in emotions you pass on to the reader. They will appreciate it, and soon you'll find yourself being true to yourself when it comes to writing.
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Staying True To Yourself - Thursday, August 02, 2012
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