How to Navigate This Blog...

This blog will contain my writing assignments, as well as journaling about my thoughts on writing and reading. How can you find what you want to read? Here's a list of the labels (actual label words I use are in bold font) I will be using and what they refer to. Labels can be found at the end of each post itself.


Fiction Assignment: refers to assignments from the book “Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises From Today’s Best Writers”
 Subcategories (refers to the section of the book): Get Writing; Point Of View; Character Development; Dialogue; Plot and Pacing; Setting and Description; Craft; Revision

Nonfiction Assignment: refers to assignments from the book “Now Write! Nonfiction”
 Subcategories (refers to the section of the book): Get Writing; Truth in Nonfiction; Memories and Inspiration; Characterization; Place; Voice, Dialogue, and Sound; Craft; Revision

Personal Writing: refers to writing that I’ve done simply for my own pleasure, not an assignment
 Subcategories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Journal Entry
Reading: to my thoughts on something I’m currently reading.
Writing: my thoughts on writing in general.
Writing Assignment: my thoughts on writing assignments from either of the books. I may be stuck or trying to explain or work out something I’m writing in these entries.
General: pretty much anything else.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My thoughts on intelligence and writing...

In my efforts to improve my writing, I have connected with many other authors, both online and offline and I've been amazed by the amount of insecurity that being an author causes.  I listen to authors who's work I adore reading belittle themselves because someone they know or have read writes something they believe to be more intelligent... in fact, usually borderline genius.  This troubles me a lot.  As a writer I understand this dilema, but I can also see it from the angle of the reader.  As a reader, I enjoy intellecual writing... I'm fascinated by those who can take the english language and bend or manipulate it in such a way that I am reminded of the great works of authors I was forced to read in high school.  It is amazing to me tht people can write like this and I have a deep appreciation for their work.  However, ninety percent of the time I read something, I really just want to be entertained.

When reading, I look for authors who's work is written in a voice I enjoy and can relate to.  I'm not so concerned with the intellectual level of the work, but with whether or not it resonates with me and adds value or entertainment to my existence.  In short... it's not about the brilliance, it's all about speaking to me... the reader.  Now if your goal is to write something on the level of The Lord of the Rings, by all means, strive for the intelligent voice and the sheer brilliance of the words, phrases and dialogue on the page.  If you are like most of us, trying to tell a story or teach others about something you know... write in a real voice that entertains, engages, and draws the reader in.  It's hard to be a brilliant writer who's work will be analyzed and discussed in schools throughout the world years from now, but it is not nearly as hard to write something that will entertain your audience.

I wonder what other authors I have not yet met think of this subject?  I wonder if they strive for intellecual writing or just write to entertain.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter... please comment below.


  1. I think I know exactly what you mean. At school I couldn't even write a proper essay. However, now I am crazy about writing, not that I am any good at it, but I enjoy it, and there are a few hundred that read my blog daily, and maybe a few that enjoy it. However a few years ago I decided to write a novel. Now I am a very avid western reader, I do not worry about the brilliance of the work, but I want a good story, something I can relate to. So I collect Louis L'Amour's books. I consider him an excellent story teller, when he describes a scene, you feel like you are there, because when he describes it, it is because he was there.
    I self published the book, that was after I entered a competition, and won 2nd place. (there were more than two entrants, hehe)
    What I am trying to say is, I couldn't find one singer publishing company that wanted to publish my western. If you visit my sex legs and body blog, you will see in my side bar, "I wrote this." (Pinewood) I do not know if it is any good, but folks who have read it says it is. Problem is, I live in South Africa, majority of people are afrikaans speaking, so for them to read an all American western novel, in the western slang, well they feel it is a bit difficult reading, specially in the beginning. Actually even English speaking people think so. Because I read loads of westerns, I do not find it that difficult at all. And I really enjoy writing westerns, but I have stopped because self publishing is very expensive, and I do not know if I will ever find a publishing company that will ever publish a novel of a battling would be writer.

    So now you have my opinion, and I have hogged all of your space, but I enjoy hearing from other folks interested in writing. I love reading, and I enjoy reading a good story, it has to keep my mind busy, otherwise I loose interest.

    My wish for you is only the best, and I hope you have loads of success.

    Have a super weekend.
    Colin. (my book's blog)

  2. Colin -

    I'm so glad you stopped by and left such a thoughtful note. I hope that you continue writing westerns if it is your passion. One day you will find the right agent and publisher to get all your work out on the market. Have faith! :)