Writing is not a craft for the meek, nor for the ones who want to remain unblemished. Writing is for the courageous. Each time you put your work out there, you are in the midst of battle. Expect cuts, bullet holes, and deep gashes. Expect to be uglier than when you first went in. Yet, through it all, if you are diligent and open to improvement, then you will emerge tougher, stronger, and smarter.
Hello! SASS here, to give a few words.
I took a break from writing my WIP to take a peek at my Facebook feed. I don’t have many friends on there. (Side Note: I wonder why. Could it be my sickle or the skull tat?)
Well, anyway, I stumbled across this post by a fellow writer that gave me a lot of pause. It amazes me when someone puts a status up to try and flex their mental muscle when in all reality they are flexing the muscle nestled between their rear cheeks.
In short, the person is stating that one doesn’t have to have experience behind the words when it comes to writing words, followed by a parting blow that should have made the church say, “Amen.”
“It’s called a work of fiction for a reason.”
Do you have to have experience with something to write about it? No, but it does help, and here’s why.
For example, let’s say that I go to a bar (which I wouldn’t do because I’m more of a homebody, but follow along here) and I order a drink. I’m very specific with the amount of shots I want and with the type of liquor I want, simply because my palate is premium and therefore doesn’t take any cheap bullshit.
However, this is only the bartender’s third day on the job, yet the customer isn’t going to give a rat’s ass about that. The only thing I care about is if he is going to make my drink right. I don’t know about you but I don’t want a rookie messing up my buzz.
In addition, let’s say I have my writer buddy Synful Desire with me. She’s a bit of a lightweight and only does the fruity drinks. Therefore, it doesn’t take as much alcohol to get her going.
Do I want a rookie possibly making her drink too strong, causing her to get sick and not be the designated driver? That would totally ruin my plan to get “All F’d up” (in my George Lopez voice) and we would just have to spend the night at a nearby hotel.
The bartender has to be on point, accurate, or as these new cats are saying: on fleek.
I expect that in my stories. If a person is writing a crime, there has to be some level of fact, even if it is fiction.
You can’t sit there and tell me that someone got shot in the head with a 9 millimeter but in the next segment, the cops found rounds belonging to a .45 Magnum. That doesn’t compute.
Nor can you tell me that person that got shot in the head, just got up, walked out of the house, jumped in his car, and drove down the street. It doesn’t compute, and I don’t give a damn how good a writer you are.
The best fiction is based on fact. Even in situations where there is paranormal activity, the author has to write it in such a convincing way that the reader doesn’t even stop to question whether it could happen. The reader just takes it as is and sees it as a total mind screw.
So … here are some words for any writer who thinks they can write out of their ass and think the shit should smell like daisies:
(1) Take the time and read other well-written works in your genre. Notice I did not say “Best Sellers”. I said “Well Written”. There are too many authors and publishers that are crooking their way to the top but that’s a topic for another day.
(2) Do you research on ANY ELEMENT that you don’t know anything about.
(3) When you send your work to your alpha and beta readers, pay attention to what they have to say. Not just to the cosmetics (spelling, grammar, and punctuation) but to whether your story makes sense. If they have picked up on dialogue mishaps, character flaws, and plot holes, don’t get butt hurt. Pay attention, and do your best to fix them, as opposed to becoming indignant, or citing “You’re a hater and you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Hold on to your pride and your misconception of your writing perfection all you want to—I’m going to fill you in on what happens if you give your alphas and betas the middle finger and keep on trucking.
If you decide your work is grade-A work and present it to the public without taking heed to any suggestions, watch the low scores and comments start pouring in. The reading audience doesn’t have to stroke your ego or say things in a nice way. Your reading audience could actually be experts in some of the very elements that you’re writing about, and if they call your work substandard and say that A + B isn’t adding up to C, then you should have put in the work, instead of acting like a jerk.
So, the morals of the post is this:
(1) The author who put up that status should delete it or hide it (although it is much too late; a lot of people have seen it by now).
(2) An author should never make it apparent in Social Media or in his work the true extent of his naivety.
(3) The best fiction is bubbling with reality.
(4) Please ask permission before using the quote I put at the beginning of this post. (Otherwise, my publisher will sue you, seriously.)
and last but not least
(5) If you don’t want brutal honesty, don’t ask me to Alpha Read, Beta Read, ARC read or regular read anything … PERIOD.