Friday, January 13, 2012

Commuter to Reality: Apprentice Writers

Okay, that's not exactly how my professor put it, but she keeps talking about not aiming too high--a still life, not the Sistine Chapel ceiling. And all this stuff in the book about needing to get to know your character, knowing what they want...
I don't think I know everything about writing. I know I learned tons in my poetry classes, and even my best fiction is nowhere near ready for publication. But I have completed four NaNoWriMos, have several serial stories in progress, and had one short story accepted to the online magazine Mindflights. My characters don't just tslk to me--they argue and fight and REFUSE to do what I want them to do. I really don't feel like a beginner anymore.
And so what if I want to aim high? It's my decision, and I accept that I probably won't make it. But I'd rather aim high and fall then aim low and succeed. I learned more from my 2010 NaNo--which was absolutely frightful-- than from a short drabble that got good reviews. But the failed NaNo showed me several things--about cast size, passion, and plot balance--that I have employed in my better stories.
I'll do what she wants, of course. But I have a feeling 'aiming low' will be harder for me then aiming high. My litary backyard is much harder to enjoy than all of time and space.


  1. I don't consider myself to be cocky, but I do feel a flush of pride when older, better writers and experienced readers like what I write. That said, not for the world would I be Christopher Paolini and others who published their works before twenty. Those things SHOULD be read and saved and loved - but not taken seriously.

  2. I remember when I started writing my first full length book at 16. The RD is horrendous, but the idea is still worth salvaging. I know that I've become a better writer since joining the critique groups that I have and researching the subject (something I didn't really believe in until I was almost 20.) I know I'm not the best though... I've got a long ways to go before that, and I probably will never be completely satisfied with what I write either... mostly because I keep learning as I write, and so I want to go back and fix everything I've written before. lol!

    And as for aiming high, what in the world is wrong with that? My favorite saying of all time is "Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." That's the motto I write by. :D