A writer is not much different from a carpenter: one writes boards, the other words. I’ll try to prove it. During all my working life, my work was somehow related to writing texts. I had to learn how to write. I will try to share my experience in getting the skill in this case. Is gre hard.
On my way there were all kinds of people writing professions: from editors, copywriters, writers just to real writers. I came to everyone with a request to teach them how to write, and a sensible answer, how to write? – I did not hear, but all the answers can be ranked somehow.
“Not everyone is given…”
That’s the worst answer. There are two reasons for this (the choice): a) consciously or not a person sees you as a competitor b) a person does not own the technology, and uses techniques at the level of intuition.
“Well, that’s art…”
Any creativity or art, whatever you want to call it, can be called a process, and how the process can be called a technology. It is the technology of writing that few people know, and few talk or talk about it. No, it’s not art, an artist has paints, a technique, does he not paint with air?
“Well, read something for example…”
Is gre hard but possible
You can read all your life and write when? And if you read “Faust” – how can you write something after that? You feel like a silent gnat, which only needs to be silent and listen, that is to read. There are a lot of examples when a person who has nothing to do with writing became a writer.
Luckily, I met a writer who earned his living by writing. He directed me in the right direction that writing is the same profession or, more precisely, a craft.
Where does craftsmanship begin?
Exercise. For a writer, the most important and first exercise is writing an essay. It is a short literary form – the basis for the construction of large novels. For example, we open Remark’s “On the Western Front without Change” – they sit in a trench – an essay of half a page, half a page – an essay about the memory of the house, then half a page about the bombing – from such essays Remark got thick novels. The topic for the essay can be anything – a pole, the thoughts of a homeless dog, but at least the day lived – the essay will be a record in the diary. The size of the essay can be from a couple of sentences to several pages. An essay for a writer is like an essay for an actor, like a play or a vocal for a musician.
I will try to outline some of the principles that have helped me learn the craft:
- Do not lie. Write only the truth. It is difficult to explain – but you can’t lie to yourself, otherwise people are not fools – they will see the deception. Here you need the skill not to lie at least to yourself, not to others. There are 2 extremes: a) striptease (this also includes negative subconscious) b) fear of saying something at all, because we lie often without thinking. No, write as honestly as possible, even if you are genuinely mistaken, it will be your truth. But if you betray the truth that is inside you – it is fraught not only for your texts, but also for your head.
- Blasphemy. Writing sounds good. Sounds must be pleasant to your inner and outer hearing. “Play or business – eat Mars boldly” – the combination of the deaf and hissing – not the most pleasant in Russian. Such combinations should be avoided: “Design – beauty in functionality” – this phrase is not functional, because of the monstrous combination of sounds. So you need to look for other options – they are, you just need to look. It is easy to check the sound quality – read what you have written – if your hearing is cut, rewrite it.
Seven words in the sentence. Yeah, yeah, I know there’s a lot of people coming – we’ve got a luggage and a mighty one, we’ve got complicated and complicated sentences. Thank you, I know – complex sentences are great, I do not argue, but we are talking about the beginning. Writing/playing symphonies at once, thinking/writing with complex constructions and easy-to-read sentences, and more than that – to make them pleasurable to read – nobody takes up the challenge – it won’t work. It is necessary to learn to burn bricks first, and then to take on something more difficult. Writing with long sentences is aerobatics, not every writer can do it. Remember Tolstoy’s kilometers of sentences in “War and Peace”, I’m not sure that all these phrases inspire. I advise you to listen once again and count the words: “My uncle is the most honest rules, when he is not jokingly sleepy …” etc.
- No inspiration. That word is so raped, it’s just embarrassing to use it. There is an objective reality, and it is naive to think that something “from above” will fall on our heads, or on our heads. We have a huge and powerful machine – the subconscious, it needs to be loaded correctly, and it will produce high-quality and necessary things. I mean this: what kind of questions do you ask? What are you thinking about? What are you reading about? What are you dreaming about? How do you look at people around you, at the world? What’s going on in your head? – It depends on what and how you give out on paper. A man “under inspiration” is like “high” – nothing thinks, seized by his condition and does not see anything around – you can drive a bike for a long time, or you can ride quietly on a truck. Inspiration is schizophrenia of a creative person, less inspiration.
Discover any memories of recognized classics of how they wrote. You won’t find a word about “inspiration” there. You’ll find information about how they set the process up. It’s the technological process: how they wrote down their thoughts, how they worked on drafts, how and when they returned to the text, how they found topics to write, how they processed and polished the text. That’s what we’re talking about, not inspiration that you’ll never wait for. You don’t have to wait, you have to work – and not inspiration will come, but you will write the text – there will be something to go back to and finish it, not empty thoughts.
Usually, everything that was recorded when the flow was going on requires a strict and strict check. After that, you need to calm down, and choose all the most valuable things when you are no longer under “inspiration”. It’s like “oh! I wrote such a cool thing! Wow, that’s so cool!” You call a friend to read him your creation, and he doesn’t pick up. Oh, man, that’s a masterpiece, that’s a… that’s not picking up! Then you get up in the morning, go to the bathroom, you see your creation, and you think – how good it is that yesterday did not pick up the phone…
- “Any fight starts with the first kick” – as my coach said, so any text starts with a kick phrase. Put everything you want to say into one sentence and even more. Make it a slogan of your text. With the kick phrase you put a dot and draw a line – you illustrate/explain/encode the kick phrase. For example, in the strike phrase to this text I put everything I prove, show that the craft of the writer is as earthly as all other professions. A punching phrase may consist of several words, or of one word: “Moscow. How much in this sound has merged for the heart of the Russian”. The striking phrase is Moscow. If in a conversation you try to put it all into one word with the right intonation, with the right feeling – then everyone will understand the meaning that you have put in. And here is only paper and the reader, you are not nearby to comment – here you need to put everything in the first sentence to set the right camera reader to read the text is no longer your text. It already belongs to the reader, and he is free to read it as he wants.
The punching phrase, by the way, solves an eternal dilemma – “What should I write about?” and “Where should I start?” Come up with a catchphrase, and that’s all, it’s a matter of technique to write the catchphrase in the text.
- During the time you write the text, you must make a discovery. If you have not done so, throw the text in the basket. Learn something new for yourself, even from seemingly ordinary objects. If your text is banal, throw it away.
- Go beyond the form. Words in the text should be used so that you go beyond the ordinary meaning of words. Sort of like in poetry – when the same words get new meaning and sound. This point is difficult to explain, you need to work offline and examples. In a word, it connects to the previous one: no discovery – it means you have not gone beyond form, you have not gone beyond form – there will be no discovery.
- Appreciate the paper. In our age of terabytes, it’s hard to explain. Paper has become not only cheap, but free at all. Can you imagine that the paper you want to write something on has been made out of antelope skin for a month? Did one or more people work for a month so that you could write something there, or better yet, did you work long hours on your own to make this paper? After that, you won’t write bullshit, and you’ll think many, many times, you’ll practice on the sand before you can write something on this paper. Okay! Sit down! I hit the keyboard, and voila! Bang! Weak, you’re all set, here you go. The word is devalued with the paper. Well, for training, it’s better to write on paper, not on a computer – you appreciate more paper, and words, respectively. Habr, in this respect is also a very good thing – he wrote something wrong, there will be no right retake, or you should try very hard.
Please do not be surprised at the primitive nature of these principles – but they work. It’s just a start, just a start, for a writer to know where to start, so that he has the technology to do something in his hands. It is clear that it is impossible to become a great master observing only these principles, but it is quite possible to start mastering the craft.
Another important exercise for the writer is to translate abstract things into concrete things and vice versa. That is, if you are in a good mood – you have to write in what specific it is expressed in (rapid heartbeat or something else), or you have something happened, you have done something – you have to express for yourself to draw abstract conclusions, generalizations about it. In the language of the Internet – online (thoughts) should be translated offline (specifics), and offline translate online.
Speaking of philosophy. Whether you like it or not, when you write, your philosophy will be visible. That is why most of the time writing is a discipline of the mind. If there are no slender judgments in your head, then do not have illusions – they will not be on paper. If there are failures somewhere, they will be so clearly visible on paper that the most nauseous of these errors. But then there is a big plus – we can work with it.
You have to carry a notebook with you. It’ll come with paper. As one philosopher said: “If you didn’t write down your idea at the same second, you will never write it again. And don’t give yourself the illusion of the fullness of your head – test yourself, write on paper what you think about – everything will become clear at once.
What kind of mistakes do novice writers make?
The very first and foremost: being a writer. I mean it would be a mistake to remember “that I am a writer” all the time and pretend. No, you just have to write. Otherwise, this posturing is very quickly readable and annoying. If you ask current writers who they feel like, many people will just say that I write and that’s it, and I get paid for it.
A good way to check your writings is to go to the editors with them, if they pay at least $10 – it’s worth it. If it’s not, you still have to go on.
Once again, these recommendations are not a panacea, this is what helped me personally to start writing, and I sincerely believe that if a person wants to learn to write, he should treat writing as a craft. Of course, not all craftsmen become masters, but without becoming a craftsman, you won’t have a single chance to become a master.
I don’t want to pretend to be smart, and to say that all my ideas are my ideas would be untrue. But I can’t give exact references – I don’t remember where mine is anymore, and what I’ve rethought and pretend to be mine. So just references:
Go through online gre course, and get the necessary knowledge.
Ain Rand. The art of fiction.
Gustav Vodichka. Writing skills courses
Nora Gaul. The word is alive and dead.
Dietmar Elyashevich Rosenthal. Practical stylistics of the Russian language