The quality of our lives right now is the result of what we planted and harvested some time ago.
I’m reading a devotional book, and I won’t get too spiritual on you depending on your own spiritual compass, but I want to share with you one point which really stood out to me.
The quality of our lives. Since this is a writing blog, let’s say the quality of our writing. Look back at your past and see where you began as a writer. Can you see the journey, the long hours, the thrilling chase, and do you remember what you learned which brought you to your present? For me, I went from writing silly stories for my siblings to masterfully writing novels that included plot, purpose, and passion. Before I get ahead of myself, I am no expert writer. I don’t think anyone will ever be an expert in writing, as there is always something new to explore. Some will claim they are experts…but rest assured, I hold no such delusions of grandeur.
So let’s talk about the things you are planting during your writing journey. For me, there are a few seeds I focus on:
Concise sentence structure. You want the words to flow smooth and natural. You don’t want sentences to become too long and wordy, but neither do you want a grouping of short, stiff sentences. When I write (and especially when I edit,) I bear in mind how the sentences are flowing together. That will help me set the pace for the mood of each scene.
Speaking of mood…
The written mood. This can be a tricky one to grasp. Every writer wants to convey particular moods in their writing. They want their readers to feel and participate in the story as much as they would in their own lives. You particularly want to pay attention to the words you choose if you’re setting up a strong mood in the story. Don’t be afraid to use a Thesaurus once in awhile. It is a wonderful tool for your utilization.
A clear plot. Of course you want the plot to be clear. That is the whole point of your novel, of course. Astronauts rocket into space. They land on Mars. They encounter aliens on Mars. The aliens try to eat them. Some of the astronauts survive. They return to Earth and warn everyone of aliens on Mars. The plot of this story is Explore>Survive>Forewarn. There’s no confusion for the readers. They know exactly what they have read.
Sensible characters. By sensible, I do not mean every character in your book is wise, simple, and uses caution in every situation. No. That would be incredibly boring. What I do mean is every character in your story makes sense. They belong. They have purpose. Everyone on this planet has a purpose. So do our characters.
And above all…
Quality. This word speaks for itself. I strive for quality writing, not necessarily quantity. Being a self-published author has its upsides and downsides. The upside is having the power to set and keep my own deadlines. If I choose to take a break from publishing novels and focus on my blog, there is no one to tell me otherwise. (The downside is there is no one pushing me for better quality, so I really have to step up my game and do my own studying.)
The quality of our [writing] right now is the result of what we planted and harvested some time ago.
Take a moment to review your writing. Don’t be afraid to compare it to other literary books in your field. Study the best of someone else’s writing. Adopt traits you want to model. And above all…
This has been,
Fanny T. Crispin