If your favourite writer can do it, so can you?

If your favourite writer can do it...?Yes, but… Have you ever read a book by your favorite writer, studied the story and the words, and wondered why that book gripped popular imagination where another didn’t?

How difficult can it be anyway? All a novel is, is a bunch of words strung together on a page. There’s nothing complex about the sentence structure. The words all follow general rules of grammar. We all understand those rules – mostly.

So you light a candle, work long into the night, and write.

But when you read what you’ve written in the morning, it somehow doesn’t sound the same as your favorite author and you wonder what’s so different about the published bestseller, and the “bestseller” you’ve just written!

Is there something in the soul of a great story that transcends rules of grammar? Short answer… Yes.

Now, I’m going to get all lotus flower on you so be patient…

There is something in the flow of a great story that has nothing to do with grammar and words. It’s the pictures the words paint, the emotions they force up from the readers’ gut, the tears that fall from their eyes when they least expect it.

In short (and in my view), the magic in a great read comes from the pictures the readers build in their minds as they read. These pictures generate feelings that are determined by how well these readers relate to those pictures.

Your job then, as the author, is to build pictures in people’s minds that generate feelings that strike chords that make them laugh and cry and weep and mourn and fly.

We all have the same tools. The same words are available to everyone. What’s different?

  • our experiences
  • our vision
  • our dreams
  • our character
  • our emotions
  • our fears
  • our courage
  • our determination

These are what bring magic to a great book.

So it’s not surprising that what you write sounds different from your favorite author. Your favorite storyteller has managed to take his or her experiences, visions, dreams, character, emotions, fears, courage, and determination and animate them in a way that has moved people looking for that particular escape.

Don’t try to be like your favorite author. It’s not possible. You haven’t lived that person’s life. You’ve lived your life, so use it. Be You! Dig into your soul and light that flame. That’s the candle you should be writing to.

Be Zen today and Happy Writing