Charismatic – definition: having an extraordinary ability to attract attention or admiration
When thinking about charismatic people who comes to mind for you?
Has a famous person’s life or career inspired you?
Here are a few of mine:
Puny – definition: slight or inferior in power, size, or importance : weak
As writers we all have our literary heroes. These people inspire but also intimidate us. Why? Because we feel puny compared to their expertise, their skill at the craft of writing and in the most part, their famous status. However, are they really that ‘remote’ that they would not offer advice to a novice?
Take for example, Stephen King (OK, I realize he is not everyone’s favorite but he is one of mine!) He shared a great deal in his book ‘On Writing‘ – a book I highly recommend by the way. As we all know writing a book is not the easiest task so for Mr. King to take the time to write this, I feel, is worth its weight in gold.
Of course his book is not the only source of writing style, crafting or tutorial tips – just search an internet site for books and a long list appears. The trick is finding one that closely mimics your style or level of expertise as well as how it ‘teaches’ you.
Stephen surprised high school students with a lecture – see here:
I endeavor to share my knowledge and experience as much as possible because I want other writers to succeed in whatever form they perceive that to be. I’m not famous and probably never will be but that isn’t the point – sharing knowledge in this writing community gives me pleasure. I hope that we can all learn something from each other and if the fate’s allow have a modicum of success. This could be having our novel published in some way or reading our work to an audience or having a short run for our family. No matter what form it takes we are sharing our words and they will live forever.
A letter I received directly from Stephen King holds pride of place on my wall. It is my constant reminder that I need to continue to learn and continue to share.
Dross – definition: 1) the waste slag or scum that forms on the surface of molten metal 2) waste or foreign matter : impurity 3) something that is base, trivial or inferior
No matter if you are a new writer or a seasoned one, there are times when we read a paragraph or short excerpt and just despair. It can be the premise, the interaction of characters or just how the scene reads. We’re just not happy with it. Depending on your mind set at that moment, there are a few spur of the moment actions that may occur. Pressing delete is number one for most of us as we berate ourselves for writing such dross. Another is to focus too hard on it and become bogged down, re-writing again and again, usually having the result of making us even angrier and unable to concentrate creatively.
If you are absolutely sure that deleting the passage is the only way, then do it but if not, save the offending article in isolation – may be create a ‘dross’ file? Leave the work and do something else, non-writing related. A walk, a workout, make a cup of tea and read a book for a while, no matter what it is distract your mind. In the terminology of the computer age – reboot your mind. Once you return you can see the article with fresh eyes and if you are lucky a revision will reveal itself.
Another aspect of ‘dross’ thinking is when you have finished a project and second-guess yourself as to its merits. Is it good enough? Will anyone like it? Is my writing worthy of submission to a publisher, a magazine or beta readers? We are uncertain literary beings at the best of times and unfortunately compare ourselves to the ‘greats’. All of us have heard the stories of successful authors receiving many rejections before being ‘found’, such J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and John le Carre. Make yourself feel better just look at this link – http://www.examiner.com/article/30-famous-authors-whose-works-were-rejected-repeatedly-and-sometimes-rudely-by-publishers
There is always a golden phrase or sentence that is worth saving or revising. Juggle the words, mix the sentences around or write it from a different characters perspective. Do not give up hope – your words are precious after all.