Sunday Scribblings #24... adapted to "What you should never write..."

This week we have
Sunday Scribblings: #24 - I would never write...

I have faced many challenges in my life - when it comes to writing! I can say that I have "done it all", even if my part in it is minute. I have written training tomes, (bland) thesis papers (sometimes ones that were not even my own damned thesis or subject!), self help hints, articles, transcripts... fiction and non-fiction, poetry... any style, any subject. The only thing I have never endeavored to do is "self-publish" (my faithful readers will tell you that I find people who must resort to self-publication do so because they couldn't hack it with the big boys. Sorry if that statement offends you, but as a writer, you should be paid for your work. Professional writers do not pay a press for the glory of having their work seen in print. If you have made the mistake of going through the self-publication route, and now wish to seriously undertake a career as a professional writer, by no means should you ever divulge that you have made the mistake of self-publication. No one will take your work seriously after such a horrid error in judgement.)

I digress...

Many writers find that their style of writing helps to define them as a person. While some people are content to focus of flowing phrases and cute quips, others find that a phrase carries more impact if it is concise and chuck full of simple wording. I tend to write for my audience, and my work changes depending on the readers I am trying to appeal to.

A writer should never say to himself or herself, "I don't like that genre or subject, so I won't bother with it." Find the one thing you would never consider doing, and spend time doing it. It will challenge you to expand your boundaries and form new views. It will sharpen your skill. You might even learn that you have better talents in that genre. But, you might also learn that the "challenge" genre is one that you lack all skills in, and that in itself will serve as a lesson.

The old adage "write what you know" is... asinine. Not knowing something is a perfect excuse to learn everything from a fresh point of view. Before you undertake the endeavor to write about a subject you have no knowledge of, take the time to research it. Embrace it! Do not limit yourself from that subject just because some poor, unpaid schmuck on a blog, web site, or self-help book has laid down that commandment. Have you always wanted to write about black history, but restrict yourself because you are of a different ethnicity? Do you desire to write science fiction, but have never seen Star Trek or read Asimov? Would you like to be the next JK Rowling, but are uncertain of how to approach writing fantasy? What is holding you back, my dear reader?! Only you can prevent yourself from advancing to the next level.

I have a different line of thinking when it comes to "I would never write..."

Please consider "what you should never write!"

You should never write...

1. Anything that is meant to intentionally bring another harm for the sake of your glory or your own ego's betterment. Jess, a fellow Sunday Scribbler, explains why in her recent post
The Journey Of A Catholic Revert: Sunday Scribbling #24 - I would never write.... A dear friend of mine once said, "Getting revenge on a person by spanking them publicly is not a smart idea - it will only make you look like an abusive person with anger management problems."

2. Anything that will come back to haunt you. Seriously!

3. Your opinion on a subject in a manner that is obnoxious. The right to free speech does not mean "I have the right to be a banal jackass." Remember: opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.

4. Romance novels.

5. Anything that steals from the creativity of another. You simply can not write about Jerry Motter and Pigboils School of Witchcraft. Nor should you steal heavily from any other work. Yes, you can capture a bit of the creativity as a model for your own work, but you can not abuse things by stealing concepts, phrases, characters, fictional settings, etc.

6. Romance novels. There really are too many, and surely you are more creative than that?!

7. An entire work in "third person" about yourself! Very few people can utilize this method well. I have met one very talented women via blogging who has the ability to do "third person" in a way that is not dull or tiring -
Roadchick - most people come across as silly or pretentious. Roadchick keeps it "real" and down to earth.

8. Anything that doesn't require you to expand your vocabulary, unless it is a children's book. This is very important! You must be able to twist phrases so as to captivate the reader, without settling into repetitive phrasing. Characters convey thought into spoken word, and when they do so, they do not always simple go "said." Does that make sense?

A. "I would like some bread," Mary said.
B. "I would like some bread," Mary stated.
C. "I would like some bread," Mary begged.
D. "I would like some bread," Mary moaned.
E. Mary lurched across the room toward the kitchen. She knew she would be too weak to untwist the tie, and she regarded John pitifully. He watched her, unsure of her motives. She pointed to the package of Wonder bread, her eyes shining with hope - would he understand her needs? Her dry lips tried to form words that her parched throat would not permit her to utter. She pointed again, and the single tear trickling down her face told John of her pain. (Yes, that was so damn cheesy that John could slap it between slices and turn it into a sandwich. The point is: use your words! Invest in a cheap dictionary or thesaurus. Pick up a used vocabulary book from the swap meet. Do something so that your characters can do something other than: said, walked, ran, sat, laughed, cried.)

9. Romance novels. I hope this sticks in your brain!

Always remember: a good salesman could sell ice to an Eskimo. A good writer could turn that "saying" into a 300+ page novel!

15 responded with...:

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Romance stood speechless and said nothing!
Anytime anyone can teach with humor, like you Bemused, has my vote of approval!

Dorinny said...

Dang... But all Dorinny knows how to write is romance novels... so what does she do now? :P

[Actually, I can't stand romance novels].

Dorinny does like romantic poetry though.. Here's an example:

Paint me with divine narration,
softly stroking half-moon lines.
Likeness etched on seraph’s canvas,
colour bleeding soul’s designs.

Images immortalising,
render me your Venus, lush.
atop velvet pallet, lure me,
with a Poet’s fervent brush.

- Dorinny (Patent Pending) :P :P

Kamsin said...

So am I understanding you right? You recommend not writing romance novels?! Great post!

Chelle Y. said...

I like your advice on what you "shouldn't" write. I think we are hasty in a actions, and alwasy have to pay the consequences.

That is something I am learning daily.

paris parfait said...

Excellent points. Well said!

MJJ Insider said...

Aw, Autrice you quoted me. :)

I agree with the changing it up thing. It gets so boring with the same statements and wording all of the time, doesn't it?!

Romance novels LOL. I'm a bit of a sucker for a good love story, but usually I'd prefer to see it on a movie... haha

Great S/S! =)

Idiot Cook said...

So, how do you really feel about romance novels? ;)

Interesting post!


Amber said...

Someone needs to write Romance! LOL


Patry Francis said...

The best kind of post. Humorous and meaningful at the same time. Especially agree with your number 1. I never understand it when people trash others on the world wide web and then all the commenters rush in to say how brave they are.

Giggles said...

Damn, why didn't I read this before I scribbled! Funny stuff.....I am a sucker for romance....probably because I have none!!!

Peace and giggles Sherrie

lisrobbe said...

Great post! Great list of things not to write.

Kayt said...

Remind me again, what was that you said about romance novels? LOL

I L-O-V-E-D this post. Very funny, very smart, very true!

And thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm brand new to Sunday Scribblings, and your visit made me feel like part of the gang :)

Catherine said...

4,6 and 9 - LOL
I disagree on self publishing - it all depends. Our poetry group self published our collection, and sold almost all 200 copies. We had a Creative NZ grant to do it, we did the layout ourselves and paid a printer - not a vanity publisher.
Certainly when I write my family history it will be self published, and sold to interested family members.

DonPare said...

Fun post!!

But what about a romance novel? Is that okay? ;)

DonPare said...

Fun and funny post!

But what about romance novels, are they okay?