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.
When I was 14 I started writing, and I wanted to write just like Stephen King, whom I adored. It turns out I couldn’t write like Stephen King, because he has magical powers that I didn’t possess at the time: mainly, the ability to create coherent plots, believable characters, and a firm grasp of grammar and story structure. All THAT minor stuff aside, I was just like him because I wrote about murder and vampires.
A lot of us start out imitating our favorite authors and stories, because we need a starting point and it’s easier to rip off someone’s face and wear it like a mask instead of learning how to do our own makeup. (See, I write just like Stephen King!) But originality comes with practice, and these are the worst things about it:
– Your original ideas may not seem very clever or interesting to you. Clearly, you should cut out your favorite author’s brain and stuff it in your own head.
– You may still find yourself imitating others and even plots of other stories. Just change the prom queen’s name from ‘Carrie’ to ‘Kerri’ and the dog’s name from ‘Cujo’ to ‘Blujo,’ and you’ve got your own story. What the hell does ‘copyright’ mean?
– Finding your voice takes time. You might do a lot of crying and screaming, in the meantime. Maybe your own voice is just screaming.
Being your own special brand of writer, with your own unique things to say, and your own style and flair, is not something you innately begin with, unless of course you do, and then you’re probably a demon and should be exorcised from this earth. While having a strong, singular voice and story ideas so original people know who wrote it without even looking at your name is awful special, you could also just go cut your favorite author’s hands off and use them instead (STEPHEN KING! I am your literary nemesis! Take that. I mean, you’ve never written a story about someone torturing and maiming their favorite author…).
Anyway, guys. Walk your own path.
**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.
Urban fantasy and paranormal romance author.