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Monday, April 14, 2014

Your Writing Eye

If you want to be great at writing, you have to do more than just write. You have to develop an "eye" for it. If you aren't developing an eye for it, you're not progressing very far. You can't become a better storyteller if you can't see how to. Right?

Your writing eye should always be ahead of your writing abilities. Read that sentence again: Your writing eye should always be ahead of your writing abilities. Why? Because that's how you learn and grow as a writer! If your eye is always ahead of your abilities, you always have something to strive for. If it's not, you can't improve your storytelling abilities.

Whether you're a beginning writer or a seasoned one, there is always more to learn.

Here are three ways to strengthen your eye for writing.

  1. Read books, blogs, or listen to podcasts on writing from professionals.
  2. Read and watch fiction, not just as an audience member, but as a writer. Pull the story apart and see how its parts are working together. Look at how the writer created the story.
  3. Get personal guidance and direction on your writing. Have a professional, a writing instructor, or a peer critique your work. Let them tell you what you can improve on.
Often, when I'm learning about writing from a book or sometimes a professional, I find myself disagreeing with what they say. That's okay. It still broadens my mind. And you know what? It might take months but I almost always come around to agreeing with them eventually. I just didn't fully understand them or didn't have enough experience to get it the first time. So if you disagree with some writing advice, don't worry, just listen and keep going. It will help you form your own opinion.

It's likely you'll go through periods where your writing eye is way ahead of your abilities. That's where I am right now. I understand and "see" certain aspects of storytelling, but I'm not experienced enough to be able to execute them as well. Don't get discouraged. Keep trying and eventually you'll get there. Like right now, for me, I'm just starting to develop an eye for action scenes. Before, I didn't have a clue what made a good action scene and what made a bad one. Now, it's starting to click with me. But I can't yet write what I'm beginning to understand.

Patience is often a cure for frustration.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post, Kami! I feel the same way. It's frustrating when I hear writers say they're discouraged because they can't get published, but they're not developing an eye for writing as you said. I want to say, "go to classes, conferences, join a writer's group, anything! Just get started."

    I also loved what you said about pulling stories apart to see how its parts are working together. I do this while watching movies and it's fun to see how memorable plots, characters, and villains are created. Superhero movies are great to breakdown and see what works and what doesn't!


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