Monday, April 12, 2010

Friends With Your Readers

It has been said that everything we write is like a letter to someone we know. It doesn't matter if that person is alive or not. Stephen King that his constant reader is his wife. It is she that he wants to make life, it is she he wants to say that his story is good. I think that good writing implies this sort of innocence. Sometimes when I read rude things that people say on my blog I feel very much like never blogging again, but then I think that I must write with the idea that the reader is my friend, that this is necessary and inescapable. I saw Julie and Julia and I thought it wonderful. This woman had a blog and there was much gnashing of teeth among authors because the movie made successful writing appear easy. I read many blogs far better than mine, but we are who we are I suppose. You strike a chord for some and not for others, some people abhor James Patterson and some love him. I think his books read like an outline for a book not yet written, like maybe he is asking people to use their imaginations.
Putting it that way, his writing doesn't seem so bad.
I try to see things from differest views. I often visit a site called Absolute Write. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to be a writer. These are real people. I was so jealous when there was a writing convention and a bunch of them got to meet one another. I live in an area where no one would hold a convention or a concert, the town is so small you could drive through it in less than 60 seconds tops.
Anyway I had blogged that writers are thieves as a title then totally forgot what I was going to say. Here is the quote, "Borrow from one and it is stealing, borrow from many and it is talent." I had thought I had to write something totally original but from reading books I've discovered writers copy other writers all the time. The similarities are so strong I wonder if a little plagerism isn't involved. I don't have to be original to write, only serve up a recipie from many. I know that sound terrible but I think it also happens to be true. Many are not original, after all. I was watching Lethal Weapon one night and thought of something else that is true. People want the familiar, here we have a couple of guys playing cops and that is so old it's moldy. The twist is the suicidal Mel Gibson, a thing abandoned in the later movies. Is there a writer out there crying night after night over the loss of his vision because superstar don't like that part of the script? I imagine so. He probably wrote a novel instead where you can be your own boss. I missed that part. I think writers should be the boss of their creations, but it is one messy world instead, and movies get made, mostly bad movies. I read books instead, but cinema has it's own pull and magic, and sometimes that is compelling. Sometimes magic happens.
Anyway I think this is the recipie: Overall something familiar, then a twist. People want to feel like they could slip into the shoes of the hero or heroine. I think that simple also is best. I can't stand to try and figure out who a dozen characters are and seldom care about them. I think they should be exaggerated cartoonish and twisted. Now that's fun, like the nosy neighbor or the kindhearted boss who acts mean and always about to fire somebody. Then a dozen of those wacky people is alright.
Writing is best of all to me because there are no rules or recipies.

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