Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Being an A-Student in Writing
Raise your hand if you know writers are students. I see those hands. Yup. We are. So, what have you been studying lately?
I took in hand a library copy of “Filmmaking for [Smarties]” (sorry, I HATE the “dummies" line titles) and a notebook and pen. Then, I scribbled vocab words and notes for pages and pages.
I’ve been reading and studying screenwriting lately, too. How many of you write screenplays? This is my first attempt, and I’m really enjoying it. But I have a lot to learn about formatting (which is so important for being taken seriously) and technique. Seems to me, it’s all about dialogue. Great. I love dialogue. *grin*
What new skill are you learning lately? Or what aspect of writing is your weakest? Crit partners are great for pointing out our weaknesses. Once they’re through with you (*smile), go find a book on the topic, or articles you can print off. Then, glean all you can.
Researching is a type of study. Give it all you've got so your work is its most professional. Lots of historical writers I know absolutely love the research phase. See, studying isn't all bad. ;)
Maybe it's time to learn more about the genre you've been wanting to write, but have held back because it's intimidating. Dive in! Read books in that genre and study applicable how-to books.
We can’t be afraid of studying. Being students of the craft is how we prove our commitment. Doors will open for the skilled writer because you don’t see great skill in every direction. Pick up five published books. You’ll see differing levels of skill in each one. Same’s true of manuscripts which cross editors’ and agents’ desks.
Skill is something you gain through sacrifice and study, and it’s something no one can take away from you. It can’t be faked and it can’t be stolen. You owe it to yourself, your craft and your Creator to develop your skills in writing. Join me the rest of this month for Net’s Notations Tuesdays while I discuss resources to help you be an A-student in Writing.