Saturday, June 2, 2007


What to write about today? hmm.
Oh, I know!
I will give the world a quick update on my book. Yes, I am ready to talk about it a little now. I am the first to admit that writing a book isn't easy. And that I have a hard time making my mind up about things. I have recently started over, and though I wish I didnt' have to, I am having fun. I have changed the plot considerably, and many characters have been added. My main character (actually she is one of three) is a young teenager, about eighteen, that is traveling with a group of minstrels. She trains animals (fantasy, so she has a 'magic' gift) walks the tightrope, and though she can sing and play the flute, she is reluctant. She has many friends among the minstrels, and she cares for two children, who are orphans. The whole thing is going pretty well. It is hard to make decisions as a young writer, because I want my book to be good, and I want my readers to like it. They say that reading is the best thing for a young writer. Let me rephrase that:
Reading is the best and worse thing for a young writer. Maybe the best thing for an experienced writer, but both to a young one.
I find that reading helps my wordplay a lot. Since reading LOTR and Eragon, even the Cornelia Funke books, my words have sounded a bit smoother and they read a bit more poetic than they did. Thicker books improve my story. And they tear it apart. I, as a young writer, analyze a book. I try to see how the plot was put together, single out my favorite character that is unusual, and I try to put a bit of that genius in my book. It isn't about copying. It is more like surrounding yourself with someone elses ideas, and possibly tearing that idea apart, looking at the pieces, and putting it back together again, in a very different order, and with pieces of your own. But sometimes I can't really put the pieces back in a different order. I want my book to be my own, and I want it to be good. Writers steal stuff from other writers all the time, but it sometimes rips at my writing heart to read a good book. How is my book ever going to be that good? It isn't like I want it to be exactly like other books. I want it to be unique, good in its own way. Whether it makes New York Times bestseller or not, well, I'm not all that worried about that. Harry Potter and Eragon did very well there, but I don't know about mine. I'm playing with something that some people may not like. Others may love it. I don't know. My friends will probably love it, because they're my friends, and they like the same things as I do. The point I am trying to make here as that writing a book is a great thing, hard, great, and....
Well, reading helps me and discourages me. But you have to read to be a writer. Some writers could be great, if only they would read more. Being a writer and never reading is like trying to build your own computer without any instruction books. Like trying to be the greatest singer without listening to other singers. Like trying to be the greatest writer without reading the greatest writers. Of this age and centuries ago; reading is important. At least I think so. I really enjoy both reading and writing. I am trying to write a book that has a pleasing flavor, a flavor that is a bit of a mix of other flavors. A touch of Harry Potter, a dash of Tolkien, and slight peppering of Funke. Maybe a whole glass full of someone else. But the rest is mine. It's like Bob Dylan and Woodie Guthrie. Woodie Guthrie influenced Bob Dylan a great deal. Now, Bob Dylan has influenced musicians around the world, and he isnt' through! Reading and writing just go togther, even if sometimes they rip at each other's hearts. As A.A. Milne's beloved character Tigger would say, "TTFN! Ta-ta for now!"
Anna Elizabeth Hedges

1 comment:

historygeek said...

Helo I love your blog! and Im glad theres a blog out there thats not so contriverseal And not pathedic.