6 Reasons why we write #writing #amwriting

When we write, we do so for a myriad of reasons that can shift depending on our mood, our environment, events that have happened, or even our time in life.

Sometimes, it is just a bone deep desire that we can neither quantify nor explain. Sometimes we write for a broad spectrum of needs, and sometimes for only one.

So, why do we write?

  1. To express how we feel.

Writing at its most fundamental level, is a expression of our inner-most feelings. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an extreme horror, or a children’s book. We pour our feelings out onto the pages, and may put ourselves into the mind of a psychopath, a soldier, an abandoned child, or a miss-understood teenager. We use our imagination, or our experience, or both, to live through the eyes of that person for a time.

2. To move people

A writer who can move people is a word magician. As a writer it is our aspiration to make our reader feel. The greatest writers can take readers on a roller-coaster, from the highs of joy or humour, to the lows of the darkest, most desperate, despair.

3. To create

When we write we create, be it another world, or another life, with a rich tapestry of interactions. We can create beauty, and we can create terror. Here we become the master of a universe, an all powerful being with the responsibility of life and death. It is both heady and humbling.

I often think that my characters possess minds of their own, and yet they are the by-product of everything I have seen, done, and experienced, whether through my own reality, or the reverie of others books.

4. To provoke thought

Perhaps the greatest legacy of a book is its ability to provoke thought. Through writing, we may come to question our own lives, behaviour, or even our society. We may also allow our mind to ramble in a non-judgemental way that seeks simply to understand.

5. To forget or escape

Writing, just like reading, is a mechanism of escape. Perhaps you have had a stressful day, and you need to let those issues rest. Perhaps you simply enjoy the vibrant imaginative world that lets you experience a dark, wondrous, or incredible other life.

6. To remember

Finally, we also write to remember, or perhaps more, so that we do not forget. Maybe it is our childhood, a feeling, a time, or a by-gone era.

When we write, we capture moments that are little snapshots of our inner self, and by doing so they are immortalised forever, or at least until the legacy of their electronic presence or paper fades.

Edit until you can edit no more! #amediting #writing #amwriting

I am deep into the editing phase on book two so I thought I would have a little fun with a few of my favourite editing quotes!

“Editing is like killing your story, and then slowly bringing it back to life.”

Editing is like killing your story, and then slowly bringing it back to life.

Yep, I’m feeling a little like this at the moment. When you read your draft you are so smitten with the story that you don’t take time to really look at what you wrote. Once you do take a proper look you wonder how the heck it will ever make a book. Never fear that ugly ducking will one day become a swan!

“Editing is everything. Cut until you can cut no more.”

Editing is everything. Cut until you can cut no more

Been there done that. I find I become more brutal the further in I go. At first I am all… “No I can’t do it! It’s so beautiful! It just needs a tweak!” Later I am more like… “Hack that abomination out! It’s never going to work, and I don’t need it anyway!”

“Everyone needs an editor.”

Everyone needs an editor

Why is it that I can spot a single typo instantly in someone else’s work, and when I read my own I can skip right over ten? Ho hum…

“Write drunk edit sober.”

Write drunk edit sober

I have never tried writing drunk…maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong? 🙂

Why we still love the classic children’s books #amreading

A book is a magic carpet that flies you off elsewhere.

A book is a door. You open it. You step through it.

~Jeanette Winterson

I make a point of trying to read a couple of classic children’s books each year.  When I was little I adored the ladybird books. I still know some of the verses, which shows how many times I read them! The thing that always amuses me when I re-read classic children’s books is how unhappy, or just plain macabre, some of them were.

the runawayI will give you an example of my absolute favourite ladybird book, The Runaway. Fundamentally this is a terrible tale of a bored pet bunny who longs for freedom, escapes, has some marginal level of fun, realises it’s pretty scary outside his cage, and heads back home only to find out that he has been replaced by a new bunny!

And I loved it!

Read it hundreds of times!!!

I guess one of the things that children’s books teach us is that life is not always perfect. Yep, sometimes the prince and the princess meet and live happily ever after, but not always, and there can be a lot of trauma (and death) along the way. For all their failings, horror, and foes, I still love the classic children’s books. I love that they are totally unrealistic (who can feel a pea under a hundred mattresses?!), I love that they are sometimes sad (never leave a comfy cage with free food?!), and I love that sometimes they even have a happy ending.

World Building in Fantasy and Science Fiction

Great article 🙂

Kristen Twardowski

baynes-map_of_middle-earth

World building was my first love. Or one of my first loves at any rate. Somewhere in a box from my youth are carefully drawn maps, sheets of paper filled with descriptions of flora and fauna, collections of census data from urban spaces that have never existed and will never exist. Part of the pleasure of writing has always been in figuring out details like this.

I’m sure that we all have our own ideal of world building. The creation of Middle Earth. The cultures of Westeros. The alternate realities found in many comic books. In fact, the impetus behind this post was a ‘travel guide’ to the worlds found in Marvel comics. The book itself was fine enough, but more importantly it reminded me just how extraordinary fictional worlds can be.

My favorite fictional world is not as well known as the ones that I just listed. It exists…

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Author Interview – Cassandra Parker ‪@Marburg759

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Cassandra Parker, who will be sharing her thoughts on reading and writing, and details of her new book Harley & Me.

 c_usersburgettdocumentscreative-workspublishedcassandra-parkerharley-memariCassandra On Writing

I have always been an avid reader. I am here to write, to learn, to be creative, and to have fun. I write because that is who I am. I see inspiration in everything such as the falling of a leaf, a child’s laughter, etc. I write because I can remember and to keep those memories alive. I remember my mother’s voice calling to me to come in for lunch on a hot summer day. I remember the smell of fresh mowed grass in the early morning. I remember how cool the lawn felt with dew drops glistening from each green blade. I write for pleasure. I write because I must.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

To read, read, read. Study the genres you love to read. Write what you love to read. Never give up. Even if everyone tells you being a writer is hard and you will not make it, look these naysayers in the eye and tell them, “I am a writer. No one can take that away from me. I will always write no matter what.”
Practice the craft. Study it, look at how a story is “shown” and not “told.” Find time to write 1 page a day, everyday. At the end of a year you will have finished a book. Never believe what you have written is too good for editing. Edit brutally, but also learn, and know when to stop. Edit to tighten the story but do not edit so much you lose the heart of it.

What is your favourite genre(s)?

I love romance in all its multitude of forms. Romance is wistful, poignant, and classic. It makes the heart beat faster; it brings a twinkle to the eyes, a tear drop, and a smile. Romance is love, joy, pain, and loss. It is endearing and lasts throughout time for all eternity.

I love SF because it takes place in worlds different than our own.

I love dystopian novels because it explores our humanity and our struggle to remain human.

Have you ever skipped something important to stay at home and read a book? 

Yes, I have. I was so engrossed in the story The Haunting by Shirley Jackson I completely forgot I was scheduled to work.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) What book would it be?

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. It was one of the books that drew me into a whole different world and created a love for books and ultimately for writing.

Are you a one book at a time reader, or do you jump between many?

I read one book at a time so I can savor the story. I become so completely immersed in the tale I lose track of time, location, etc.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far?

I’m currently reading Girl on a Train. It is a hard read for me because it is not in one of my favorite genres.

About your book…

You are living in the your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

I am living in 1975-1977 Lima, Ohio. It is a small city with a branch of the Ohio State University and WOSL Radio has just started broadcasting. Gas is being rationed, the Vietnam War ended a few years previously and jobs are hard to find.

 You are your most recent protagonist, What do you like doing for fun?

Riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, searching for aliens and playing pranks. Because I am a rebel looking for my soul mate.

Harley & Me by Cassandra Parker

When Mari met Harley little did she know he was her soul mate; the love of her life. This is a love story full of joy, laughter, heartbreak, and loss. The journey of Mari and Harley is wistful and endearing.

c_usersburgettdocumentscreative-workspublishedcassandra-parkerharley-me51y35rzf1hl
Available on Amazon

You can also follow Cassandra on her blog! CassandraParker.wordress.com.

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com