It’s been hard to get my brain engaged while on vacation but in an effort to avoid complete brain stagnation I’ve been reading the writing blogs as I wait to hear back from queries on my completed novel, ponder my next novel, and decide if I want to expend any energy going back to re-visit any of the picture books I’ve written…yes, I’m on vacation but I’m not very good at relaxing, in fact, my brain would probably welcome a few hours of stagnation.
Nathan Bransford pondered the distinction between writing and storytelling on his blog today. For me, ‘writing’ is pretty black and white. It’s fairly easy to point out mechanical problems in a story, most of us remember diagramming sentences and conjugating verbs. The correct answers were clear, there was no room for interpretation. But do you remember the first time someone (probably a teacher) graded a story you had written? Take out the mechanical errors and remember the frustration you felt because they simply didn’t like your story. I remember.
Injustice! That’ s what it felt like. I didn’t deserve a poor grade just because the teacher didn’t ‘get’ my story. The truth is, if you’ve completed a novel then you’ve probably come close to mastering the ‘writing’ part. The magic is in the storytelling. Virgin writers struggle with how to tell the story. How do you convey the story in your head so that someone else can experience, and enjoy it, the way that you want them to? We’ve all heard of writers that don’t get published until their second or third novel. It takes practice to master the art of storytelling.
Oh, how my stomach sinks at the idea that recognition as a writer won’t come until my third masterpiece! I’ll continue to be an optimist and believe that an agent will recognize my talent with my first novel.
For today I’ll come to terms with it on the golf course…