Good writing is really meaningful, and it’s one of the – it’s still one of the best tools we have to get and capture people’s attention.
The modern world of writing and literature is becoming obsessed with the “proper” style of writing or plotting stories. If you’re like me and you’ve experienced even a small taste of editing, or if you’ve just done your research, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Nowadays, people write books about how to write books. They blog about how to write “correctly”. We have all these new phrases and rules for creating proper sentences, fashioning a plot, choregraphing a scene, crafting our dialogue…the list goes on and on. Sooner or later, you’ll run into an editor, a friend, a fellow writer, who will quote another modern writer and say the equivalent of “that’s not how it’s done nowadays.”
It’s almost like we now have textbooks for writing. Maybe it’s just me…but doesn’t that bother you?
Everybody needs help sometimes. I’m not against books, blogs, or advice that helps me to become a better author. My qualm with books about writing is not that they aren’t useful, but because they turn writing into a science. Writing has become something that is less of an art, and more an act of conformation to the appetites of the current literary culture.
And to me, it’s disgusting.
Writing is an ART. Art, people. Art is not about conforming to what society wants. It’s not about following the same path as everybody else. It’s not about being the same.
That’s why I’m beginning to get highly annoyed with this culture of writing where there are so many rules. Agents and publishers won’t even get through the first page of your book because they are so obsessed with the “rules”, the “dos and don’ts”. It’s like we’ve created a checklist for writing to determine whether it’s good or bad.
“Did the author show and not tell? Check!”
“Was all of that dialogue completely relevant? Check!”
“Was that character arc done according to the proper arc of a hero? Check!”
“Did they utterly simplify everything to it’s utmost simplest form? Check!”
The list goes on and on.
And you know what the problem is? We’ve begun looking at ALL writing from this perspective. And that’s not what writing, or art, is about.
Writing should make us ask ourselves the big questions. It’s not about creating a perfect, movie-like scene. It’s not about relevancy or irrelevancy. If the author is trying to say something…well, that’s what writing is for. Writing isn’t just about the reader. It’s not even just about the story. It’s about what’s being SAID.
And that’s what we’re forgetting as a society.
Don’t conform. I’m not saying don’t improve. But don’t conform. Don’t let anyone keep you from SAYING something with your writing. That’s what it’s all about.