For the Blogging From A to Z Challenge I’m doing you all a huge favor and filling you in on the 26 Things To Hate About Writing.** I’m hoping by the end of April, I will have convinced all of you not to indulge in the wild insanity of becoming a writer. If I can save even one person from offering themselves up in sacrifice to the mad and fickle word gods, I will have done some good in this world.
It turns out if you’re writing a book about outlaws in the Old West, the tone and language of the story is different than say, writing a space opera or a romance novel set in the bleak landscape of the Arctic. As if it isn’t hard enough to use words in the first place, now we’re expected to use appropriate ones in the right context to convey mood and setting. This is why I tried to warn all of you about writing. They keep changing it up on us!
Unless you’re really good and clever and people put up with you because of that, you have to be careful not to get anachronistic. Still, when you go back through your book told from the point of view of African tigers in the Victorian age of exploration, you find things like this:
– Passages that completely fall out of tone with the rest of the story and seem crammed in there. You have to rewrite these, or take them out altogether.
– Words and ideas that wouldn’t be appropriate to your theme and setting. You can’t have your Mongol princess saying “gnarly, dude!” (Though on a sidenote, I love the show Vikings and they’re constantly doing this. Ragnar told Floki to “shut your face” at one point.)
– You later find out a device your character is using wasn’t invented until twenty years later. Sometimes you can play this off as suspension of disbelief, or hope no one knows, as every historical TV drama in existence does. If all else fails, call it Steampunk.
One of the worst things about writing is getting your language right, and consistent, and appropriate to the setting, through the entirety of a book or several books. Sure, it helps immerse the reader in your reality, it makes the story seem genuine, and it helps the prose flow. It also fits the book neatly with others of its genre. But think about this: someone has to be the first person to write about space colonists. By that I mean, 1600’s Pilgrims who go into space, and maybe they have cell phones, and maybe a couple iPads, you know, to take some selfies with the aliens. I sure as hell am not gonna write it, but someone should.
**Disclaimer: If you haven’t figured it out, these posts are pure satire and simply a humorous way to vent my writing frustrations. No offense is intended to anyone. Please, become or continue being a writer. It’s awesome, I swear. It’s super…duper, awesome…heh heh.