Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Of Reading and Writing

Hello everyone!

I felt like writing a blog post devoted to writing techniques and reading, but just a short one, because I began Brisingr two days ago, and I have had to relearn one of the my most important rules for writers/readers.

That is that you can never have too many different kinds of books in your book bag. As a writer, I can't stress this enough, because nearly every book I read and enjoy influences me one way or another. I had forgotten how much Christopher Paolini influenced me. I really admire him for writing such a detailed and complicated series at such a young age....something that I am striving to do, but it is not as easy as it sounds to write a good novel, let alone a series of novels.

I don't want to talk too much about Christopher Paolini this post because in a few days I will post my review of Brisingr and discuss his technique then, but reading Brisingr has inspired me to start over....or at least add a completely different layer...to my book. I just started over recently, for.....don't ask me I've lost count. I don't know how many times I"ve started over, but I've done about three or four drafts that would ever even possibly be worth finishing, but as I am no longer interested in completing those, the effort would be worthless.

For one thing, the way I have been writing has been very 'spacy' my cousin's favorite way to describe it. Meaning that I don't give the proper details where they are due, or conversations or character introductions are too short (although I have begun to notice how short some of these things are in novels like Harry Potter!) or I skip an important event or such as that.

It is mostly details. I used to think details were easy, but I've realized that they are NOT. They may be the hardest part. Details are fairly easy to make sound good, but when you are trying to describe something, or more than one thing, or more than one thing about a certain thing, it gets very confusing and a little bit confusing and awkward.

I recently read in a Ted Dekker blog post that he had heard writing a novel compared to rowing a bathtub across the ocean, and he also said that he knew how it felt. He has completed an enormous amount of novels for such a young author...I mean, he's only in his forties.

I think I almost agree. Rowing a bathtub across the ocean sounds impossible, but writing a novel doesn't sound impossible, but it is SOOOO much harder than it sounds. Movies make it sound so easy...authors make it sound so easy. LIARS!!! Just kidding. I'm sure that once I finally finish a book it will be easier for me as well, but I want that now, not later!

Oh well. You see, reading J.R.R. Tolkien makes me feel like my book is AWFUL. And impossible to live up to standards. Tolkien is sort of my set standard. If Tolkien did something, then it is acceptable. :D Christopher Paolini's writing makes mine look awful too, but it also gives me hope, because I can see how I could make my book as detailed as his, or at least it doesn't seem as hopeless as when I open the vast world of Middle-Earth. I don't strive to copy either of them, but I do strive to write a book that lives up to certain standards, MY standards, and my standards demand that my book is as fun to read as something like Harry Potter, as magical to read as The Lord of the Rings. Middle-Earth and Alagaesia are very real to me because of all the history behind each of them...all the details. Some people get bored with details, and I do see the importance of not putting your readers to sleep with them.

But I'm not writing a book to please anybody else. I'm writing a book to please me. That sounds like a self-centered way to put it, but if you want to write something worth while, you don't write what other people will like, you write what you like.
ARgh, sorry. I think I'm just venting frustration. More on all this writing/reading stuff in a few days when I post my review of Brisingr, which I am planning to be November Book of the Month.
Sorry if I bored you to tears....:D
Anna
Oh, sure that was short. :D

2 comments:

Brian said...

Paolini inspires me too. I always wonder how he was able to write Inheritance at such a young age.

Anna said...

thanks for commenting! Argh, I think that Paolini is just really talented, and also hard working. I think I would get closer to finishing a book if I worked on it a lot harder. That's something I'm considering..I mean, putting in the extra hours, etc.
But I don't want it to be like work, I want it to be like playing! Unfortunately, writing isn't always like playing, as I've learned.