Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Attempting to Write

Writing is hard. Most people I talk to about my hopeful future career in writing are supportive and interested, possibly because they hope to one day say "Oh her? Oh yeah, I totally know her. That character in the book that does that thing? That's me. She put it in because I'm awesome. Do you want to touch me?"

However, once in a while there comes a lovely individual who thinks the ability to coherently, succinctly and professionally write at least 500 pages of interesting and thought provoking literature in a specified time frame that is unique and different to the thousands of other novels already in existence is not a valuable or difficult talent.

That's right, I said talent. I challenge you to write a short story in 2000 words that at least 90% of your friends finds interesting. To make it even harder, try not to include vampires, werewolves, children killing each other or teenagers who like to brood and look like this:

I'll leave the "thing" above as a topic for another time.

So yes, I do get slightly offended when someone says "Pfft, writing isn't that hard. I could write a book." Firstly, a book refers to the big papery thing the actual story is printed on, and secondly, no you can't. If you do, let me know, I will personally make you a medal complete with a certificate stating "I was wrong. I.O.U One taco" to be used at any time from here to infinity.

With this in mind, I've been having some difficulty writing my novel lately. It could have been the drugs I was on over the weekend, but it could also be my state of mind.

While my brain can withhold a hell of a lot of enthusiasm and passion for a subject I like, it tends to go into a state of overdrive too fast for me to process. In short: My brain cannot process the thoughts it makes. That's as pathetic and ridiculous as being allergic to water.

So to stop these thoughts from throwing themselves against the inner lining of my skull, I just write whatever it is down. Unfortunately, due to the fact I do not always have a computer or a book with me, I have notes, scenes, plot structures and character profiles written all over the place.

Originally I bought a book to keep them all in, just a big ol' mess of notes and drawing related to stories I am going to write, but it kind of went beyond that. I started writing in another book specifically for one story. Then I wrote a few scenes on my computer. Then some on my laptop. Then some in my university notes, and all of a sudden I've created a treasure hunt for literature.

Try writing a story that does not involve any clich├ęs or idioms. If you do not know what those words mean, I will link them to their definition, just because I'm nice. It can become very tiresome to read the same type of phrases over and over again throughout literature. More than once I've been reading a novel that I really enjoy only to be slapped back into reality when they say something like "It was love at first sight" or "Money makes the world go round".

How about mixing it up a little? Here are some substitutes that would make any story a hell of a lot more unique and up-to-date.

 "Time is money" >>> I could be looking at pictures of cats on the internet right now

"Misery loves company" >>> That is the third time someone has stabbed me with an umbrella this week

"Diamonds are a girl's best friends" >>> Buy me more things and I won't tell anyone you watch My Little Pony religiously

"Curiosity killed the cat" >>> Quick, take a video on your phone in case he gets killed! We can put it on youtube!

"Beauty is only skin-deep" >>> Being orange does not make you more appealing

"Any friend of yours is a friend of mine" >>> Stop inviting me to your friend's weird sex parties, it's starting to freak me out.

Now isn't that more interesting? I'd definitely want to read a story that had one of those lines in it. I guess I should go back to writing, but not before I look at some funny cat pictures.


  1. Well said. I just about lost it with the I.O.U. One Taco medal. XD

    (I find that writing out a chapter/plot outline before you begin jotting down scenes helps to keep the story organized.)

    -Barb the French Bean

  2. Agree! Also love the alternatives to cliches!