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blog So, You Want to Be a Writer?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Black Dragon, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Svrtnsse submitted a new blog post:

    So, You Want to Be a Writer?
    by Nils Ödlund


    In order to be a writer, there is one thing that you must do: write.

    Really, that's all there is to it. Sit down and write. You'll be a writer.

    What's a little more difficult is to write something that others enjoy reading. I found that out the hard way. Just because I'd written something, it didn't mean everyone else automatically enjoyed it.

    A few years ago (maybe five or six), I posted an excerpt of a chapter from the first draft of my would-be debut novel. I expected to receive praise and adoration for my beautifully flowing prose, and for my intriguing world-building – or, well, at least some positive comments.

    This did not happen.

    Instead, I received a few remarks about things I didn't know what they were, and didn't understand, but which seemed important. Passive prose. Tension. Telling instead of showing. I also received a bunch of helpful advice and suggestions, and slowly, I came to the realisation that I might not be quite the literary genius I imagined myself to be.

    In this article, I'll share some of the things I did in order to try and become a better writer. What I won't do, is tell you how to be a better writer, or even what it means to be a good writer.

    1. Admit there's room for improvement.

    The first thing I did, I already described above. I really was convinced I was an awesome writer, and while I haven't quite gotten that notion...
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
  2. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    Years ago I stumbled upon a tip that I found very helpful:

    Listen to audiobooks of great novels.

    There is a certain rhythm to great writing that doesn't come naturally to everyone. When you listen to audiobooks, you begin to pick up on this rhythm and internalize it.
  3. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    Yes, or even better, read great novels out loud to yourself. There is a rhythm, but there is also a taste to the words. Sounds crazy, but it's true. When you read great literature out loud you can taste the words. You will notice a distinct difference if you read your own work out loud. Slowly though, you start to learn how to get the rhythm, and the flavour of the words.
  4. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    These are great pieces of advice. It's been a long time since I myself listened to an audiobook, but it's something that used to happen a lot as a kid. When going on vacation with the family, my parents would borrow an audiobook (on cassette tapes) and play it on the stereo in the car. It was, probably, a good way to keep us kids quiet, and it was usually good stories.

    I've not read my own stories out loud, either to myself, or to anyone else, but I've found that I often sound out the sentences I write in my head, as if I were reading them. I don't know that it has the same effect, but I think it might tie back to having been read to a lot as a kid.
  5. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

    Nice work, Nils! Your article is informative and I think many writers can relate to your experience. The first point of admitting there's room for improvement is one we should never forget.
    CelestialGrace and Svrtnsse like this.
  6. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Thank you. :)
    Chessie2 likes this.
  7. Very well said Nils. I think, of all the creative arts, writing may be the most like a high wire act to master. So many facets of it to learn, develop and work on to pull it all together, but it can be done. I really appreciated your take on it and the advice that any writer or aspiring writer can benefit from.
    Svrtnsse likes this.
  8. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Thank you. Very happy to hear you like it. :)

    And there is indeed a whole lot of things that need to come together in order for it all to work out.

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