I’m trying to become a writer. Fiction novels and short stories.
I wrote a novel last summer and the process was cathartic. But ruinous.
What happened was that although my story held merit, the writing itself was sophomoric — as one might expect given my limited training. So, I endeavored to teach myself how to write; to be come a critical editor of my own work; to evaluate writing — of all sources and authors.
And now that’s all I can do. When I read ANYTHING — I’m an editor. I don’t get taken up by the story, I don’t get attached to the characters, I critique everything I read.
And it sucks.
Not the writing, although, yeah much of what I read needs serious editing (including my own work). No, what sucks is that my desire to become a writer has warped my ability to be a reader.
Before all this, I used to pickup and read novels all the time. I never really evaluated them and their writing styles. I could immerse myself into those stories. Lose myself.
Now, all I do is analyze.
DO NOT TELL — SHOW us how she cried, sat, danced, ate, slept…
Use of passive vs active voice (over use of the word ‘was’ or ‘were’ or ‘is’).
Use of flag words: very, quite, always, suddenly, quickly, and all the tiny obvious verbs (get, got, do, did, put, walked, went, gone, run, ran, see, saw, crossed, turned)
Adverbs — use sparingly (ha!).
A funny list to the cause: