Lesson 1: What not to write?A Lesson by Crashbang
First, simple obvious lesson - where you don't stray in writing.
I had a conversation with a friend once over MSN when he was editing my first novel. It's now been scrapped, by me, for far bigger errors then the one he pointed out. Such as the following:
'I've edited out your 'And's at the start of sentences.'
'Because you just don't. It's one of the first rules of English!'
This annoyed me. It gives an extra zing to a sentence sometimes. I can accept that you don't use 'And' at the start of sentences all the time - that would be irritating. But it's nice to have the option.
So now I am writing up my first lesson and wondering why I listened to my friend. He's wrong. Stephen King has used 'and's at the start of sentences as well, and he cant be the only one.
Talking of King, he also hates adverbs with a passion. 'He said, contemptuously.' He says it's lazy, and this I agree with. Alot of my writing has altered on the back of the book 'On writing.' by Stephen King.
But this is the same author who wrote a riddle loving psychopathic train which poisoned a city into his dark tower series. Interesting? Hell yeah, I loved it. Batty mad? Hell yes.
What if you used an Adverb like this?
'"I have maaany grevious burns..." Said the boy...laughingly'
Call me twisted but I find that quite funny. Thank you flight of the conchords.
And now for one of my rules. I love flow. Sentences have to roll into the next, and the paragraph into the next, and so on. What I hate is when a single word is besieged by two commas - really staggers sentences for me, unnessecarily.
That said, Sebastian Faulkes I believe is a published author (essentially the epitome of what I aspire to be) - and writes the next gen of James Bond novels. He does exactly the above. In fact thats where I got my pet peeve from.
I guess it's an opinion thing.
So, what is this secret thing you don't want to write as an author?
Well if you want to be a writer...there isnt a thing you cant write.
You can write an epic story about a set of evil blue trains. Call it 'dawn of thomas the undead tank engine'. You can write Star Wars: Return of the author. Make your favorite author the luke skywalker and your most hated darth vader or the emperor. They could compose epic ballads rather then light saber fights.
King also said that writers have a duty to tell the truth, and thats trash as well. Lie if you want to. Lie your face off. The first thing I want to impress is that you have to let go. Let your imagination wander into dark corners and psycadellic night clubs of your mind. Write whats in there if you want.
Lastly for today: you take what you want from criticism as a writer. You adapt and refine according to the criticism you think is correct. Not that you dismiss criticism out of hand. You consider it, alter, refine, revise, write again. Continously evolve and adapt. Develop your style. The readers aren't you, and you cant listen to them all. If you do, you'll end up in a mess.
Be the writer you want to be.
I think that's it for the first lesson. I think, though I'm not sure, that this has been important to the rest of the lessons. In any case, I hope it's been a taster, if it's not been an insight into technique, discipline or practice.
Class dismissed. Hope you come back next time, and thanks for reading.
Added on December 30, 2009
Last Updated on December 30, 2009
AboutHi, my names Rob, and I am working towards being a writer, be it screen writing or novel writing. I always look to write originally, am always looking to improve. My writing is highly versatile - I ha..