Do not hand me lined paper---for I write Fiction?
They say to be a good writer you need to read a lot, with that being said I ought to be a famous fiction writer by now. At the age of 13---1945 I started helping myself to magazines at the local stores in Long Beach Calif. There were True Story, True Romance, True Detective you see 15 cents for the price of those magazines were also the price for a loaf of bread, that we did without many times and in my 13 year old reasoning I could forgo that peanut butter sandwich but not that continued love story in the latest True Romance---never got caught. Most educated observers hated the magazines, figuring that it depicted the worst aspect of the "revolution in manners and morals" but everyday America loved the new confessional magazines.
Here are some of my thoughts and experiences on Fiction Writing:
1. Some say that you must have hard discipline, because writing can be very hard work. I disagree, if you can really write it will flow naturally and be a great pleasure. The best fiction comes from the preposterous imagination of a STORYTELLER.
2. Some say that you should only write about what he or she knows through experience or can learn about through research. That is true for non-fiction.
3. Some say that you should write only what you like to read. I use to follow this rule until I stopped and reached out and tested other waters. First I just stuck my big toe in the water and now I swim the full length of the pool. This has many advantages for it automatically expands your imagination in all directions.
4. Some claim pronunciation, diction and grammar are the most important part of the story. Again I disagree. Fiction has a freedom that no other categories can venture into successfully.
REMEMBER THOSE OF YOU THAT WRITE FICTION---THERE ARE NO RULES!
Here are a couple of examples of writers that didn't let rules get in their way. They just stepped into the ring and let freedom ---ring.
Ernest Hemingway employed a distinctive style which drew comment from many critics but that did not stop him---he simply wrote what he felt. The reader saw in the Hemingway hero a person whom they could identify with. The Hemingway hero was a man's man. He let them into on love affair to another. His subjects brought lavish praise and savage criticism---yet he was not ignored. He was a master of transmitting emotion without embellishing it with his imagination.
John Steinbeck: "The Grapes of Wrath" novel was a phenomenon on the scale of a national event. It was publicly banned and burned by citizens. Yet here was a man that again simply wrote what he felt and saw at that time period. Here again all rules were broken for he wrote dialogue as it was spoken not as it should be spoken. He was writing about real people and their feelings and their ordeals and they could read this and relate to it, again the critics were appalled at the words in the dialogue for they were not proper words in their minds---yet he simply wrote it just like it was said.
(1962, the Nobel Prize was granted to Steinbeck for Grapes of Wrath.)
I find that in today's world in all subjects and endeavors it all involves around the almighty $$$$$. Writers seem to think and dream first of what money his or her words will bring. Look around you and see how many people that you know really make a living from it?
Please understand I don't say this to discourage you from writing and following this dream but to make the pleasure and freedom of writing---be # 1.
Note; When you are handed lined paper---write the other way and enjoy.