AAAAAAAND, I'm back!
Hello there, folks! I'm excited to be back among the land of the blogging (and the land of the living-- I swear, I slept through at least three-quarters of my first trimester of pregnancy). I'll be around to see how ya'll have been doing over the next few days.
In the meantime, I'm honored to say my blog has been nominated as a Top Writing Blog by eCollegeFinder! Today, in that spirit, I want to talk about the best advice I ever got in my college years about writing. It was freshman year, and I sat in my first college-level creative writing class, eager to fill my somewhat empty brains with knowledge that would make me the world's most beloved, inspiring, and best-selling writer by the time I turned 19.
So, my friends, I would tell you this: have a take, and don't suck.
I know, right? And here we've spent all this time on stuffing our brains full of writing knowledge, and it's just that simple! Well, sort of. Let's break this down.
Have a take
My professor described "having a take" as giving a story that unique, personal touch that only you and your life experience can bring to the table. Story ideas are a dime a dozen. What makes that idea come alive and turn into that incredible tale that only you can tell is your take on that idea. What experiences in your life have given you insight that lets you turn that ho-hum idea on its head?
So find the thing YOUR life has made you believe in. Find a way to look at that story through a lens no one else has seen it through before-- because it's the one that belongs only to you.
You'd think I could sum this one up with a simple, "Well, duh." But this is the part that made it impossible to achieve by the time I turned 19. You see, with writing, we've all been doing it since elementary school. We wrote little stories and essays and journal entries at teachers' bequests, so we all think we're pretty darn good at it. So hey, we may as well write that best-selling novel because, after all, we already know how to do it.
Nope. Sorry. The craft of writing fiction is a whole different ball of wax. It's like playing the piano. Anybody can sit down and plunk out a few notes. But it's only the ones who learn the theory and then PRACTICE it who actually manage to play the piano well. So in order to not suck, you need to learn the theory. You need to practice. And unfortunately, that takes time.
But hey, just think of all the fun you can have with writing while you're learning not to suck!
So, my friends, there are the two secrets to writing the world's most incredible, amazing-sauce, best-selling novel! I'll, uh, let you know when I finally achieve that some day... In the meantime, what is the piece of writing advice that stuck with you over the years? And, hey, how are you all, anyway? It's good to see ya'll again.