Thursday, 18 March 2010

Evolving as writers

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change" Charles Darwin

I've written about changing circumstances for writers in my impressions on the WIC.  Recently I've been thinking about how I've evolved as a writer since I started the business seven years ago. 

To begin with I didn't have any idea of writing fiction, not as a business.  But I tried some pieces and found that they helped to loosen up my business writing.  Which then fed back into more stories I tried.

What I learned most of all is that while I can't assume the first pass is the best, I've trained myself to spot those pet phrases and terms we all include.  As a result not only do I write better on the first draft, I can write faster.

Having to be responsive to client needs is valuable because beginning fiction writers often can be self indulgent.  But if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.  Training to be your own editor is tougher than training to write.  It's hard to be objective about what you've poured out of your heart.

Loving to write is only the beginning.  Being a writer is more like being a marathon runner than a sprinter and needs appropriate training.  If you read series by many crime writers and look at the writing as an exercise, you can see them improve and become more fluent.

It has to happen because they're writing more, knowing more about their characters and feeling stronger in their writing.

Once they were in the same place as you might be now.  Take heart.  If they can do it so can you.

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