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Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Wait … Should I Write That?

There is a moment now and then when writers may catch themselves and think … wait, should I write that? 

My fellow writer, and friend, Elena Ransley wrote a post titled, Just because I write it, doesn’t mean I did it.

I think her words are both honest and true. There is a fine line writers walk between fiction and fact. Fantasy and reality. So much of who we are is embedded in our stories. Our words, our voices, our hearts … our sometimes crazed imaginations. Elena writes,  “Just because you write about an axe murderer, doesn’t mean you are slightly unhinged and could lose it and carry out your protagonists actions in the middle of the night – just because you think it, doesn’t mean you would do it.”

People judge you as a person when you put your stories out there. And we can judge ourselves as words fly from our fingertips in a flurry of ideas. Whether you write horror or paranormal romance, people will either love your work and sing your praises, or wonder if you are indeed unhinged.

Does it matter? As a writer who has chosen to share their work with the world–it probably shouldn’t. It’s the risk you take when you decide to go public. It’s the reason every writer hears those few words of caution, “Grow a thick skin. You’re going to need it.”

Not everyone will praise or even like your work. Some people may hate your genre, your ideas–your imagination. And they will judge you. But we can’t please everyone and we can only write what moves us and hope our words resonate with readers.

So I leave you with this to ponder:

“Writers are not just people who sit down and write.  They hazard themselves.  Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.”  ~E.L. Doctorow

So the question is, Are you willing to put yourself out there? It’s the risk all writers have to take. The difference between owning what you love and hiding it. The difference between being public or private. Published or tucked away in a drawer.

SO WRITE ON WRITERS. Take your best shot. 😉

*** Re-posted from April 2012 ***

 
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15 responses

  1. I haven’t written too much, but the bit I have written has been limited since I tend to censor my own writing. I would have a hard time writing a really evil bad guy. And some of my family and friends would think me weird if I wrote certain things, so I would have to use a pen name in those cases.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

  2. I think a lot of people use pen names for that exact reason. I’m not a horror fan, so I definitely don’t write it, but I have friends who do. Fantasy is hard too because my imagination can get pretty far out there. It’s all part of the process though. 😉

    April 13, 2012 at 9:29 am

  3. Your question holds a lot of water for every writer. And I find it curious that I consider that often, but not for the same cause. What I write is rarely open to attack. Maybe that’s because few read my blog, LOL.

    But even in writing about truth I wonder if I’ve made a sincere case. I think that if we wrote that a tire is round we would have that fleeting and nagging thought: “I wonder if I should have written that.” Maybe we just need to take a stand in our hearts and commit ourselves to the track we’ve chosen. Maybe we restrict ourselves without reason. Maybe there is someone who needs to hear what we have to say.

    (gad……. I wonder if I should have posted this comment…….. )

    April 13, 2012 at 9:42 am

  4. “Maybe we just need to take a stand in our hearts and commit ourselves to the track we’ve chosen. Maybe we restrict ourselves without reason. Maybe there is someone who needs to hear what we have to say.”

    Exactly. I couldn’t have said it better. And yes, even your comment here, should have been written today. 😉 Have a great day.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

  5. Hey! Thanks for the link! You always manage say what I meant much better. I am glag the post inspired you to thinker deeper about the subject – and overall I hope it helps others have the courage to just write what they feel is right for thier story. Nothing should hold you back. – Oh and your comments are working now lol!

    April 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

  6. You’re very welcome. It’s a valid point, and one that I think all writers face, even if they don’t say it out loud. And you’re right, if you don’t put it out there, what are you doing? (For me that’s the hardest part—guarded introvert that I am.) But….as per my favorite saying these days: Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

    Glad my comments are working! ;))

    April 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    • And….Your thoughts inspired this post, so I think you managed to get your point across really well. I didn’t say it any better than you did. ;))

      April 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

  7. Interesting – I haven’t even thought about it. I write where the story takes me; I only take a second if the character wouldn’t be saying/doing that because of who they are/ the current situation. No stopping. No censoring. The story will guide, there’s no need to try and push the story in another direction if it’s not going to go that way

    April 18, 2012 at 5:09 am

    • It is interesting, and seems to go two ways. Did you read Ellie’s post?
      She’s talking about murder in her story. Not an easy topic to write about in my opinion. And certainly one that would people say, “Whoa.” Especially if we are sticking to the old, “Write what you know” school of thought. So if we are writing what what we know, how are writing about things we don’t know? Imagination. And what does that say about you if your imagination is leading you down a wicked or gory path? That your crazy? That you ‘do know’? That’s what she means by feeling the need to clarify, that “just because I write it, doesn’t mean I did it.”

      Look at Stephen King. Some people think he is completely insane to write about the things he does, while others, think he’s a genius.

      You…SciFi. You’re thinking has to be way out there to pull SciFi off. Censor/question/doubt too much and the story dies.

      I write Fantasy and Paranormal. Also way out there. But…I write YA. I’ve definitely caught myself and thought, wait…maybe I should scale that back some. Especially romantic scenes. Granted, YA books now–some of them anyway–can be pretty detailed/violent/etc… so there is a line to walk.

      I’m rambling. Point here, I agree with you. I let my thoughts carry me too and I don’t censor but I do question now and then when I go back and revise. And I’ve definitely second-guessed some of my scenes and rewritten them. A lot of revision and rewrites also come down to feedback from beta readers. If they are like, “um…whoa, you need to slow down.” Or, “What are you talking about?” You know there’s an issue to fix.

      At the end of the day, I think it’s about judgement though. As we get closer to publication (if you choose to go that route), a lot of writers do wonder how they will be judged/critiqued not only on a writer/storyteller level, but also on a human one. (Which obviously stems from fear. That’s another blog post tho.)

      Did I make any sense? It’s too early.

      Hope your story is coming along well, Leigh. 😉

      April 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

      • Hmm ok, murder I can understand the trepidation. Yes, where do those scenes come from? I have often wondered about King, and thought wow that guy must be crazy, lucky he writes them all down to get it out!

        Then I had another think and realised – writers have to read. He would have read things – other novels, non-fiction – also watching films, documentaries…I’m sure he would have bult up a repository.

        Yes Sci-Fi…requires intense imagination to get right out there. Imagine things you have never seen; build scenes up from a blank canvas. It would probably convert to people thinking I’m nuts. That’s okay, everyone knows I already have a vast imagination that can picture the most random and obscure things. Sometimes I come up with analogies and people will actually stop and say “what? How did you even come up with that?” Being weird is fine in my book!

        Haha romantic scenes….getting a bit too graphic? or too lovey dovey?

        Yes, beta readers. Very useful. When I get to that stage, I will be happy to get feedback. The story always sounds perfect in your head until someone else reads it!

        It’s moving, I’m writing almost every night now; need to keep going! Will be doing an update in a couple days!

        April 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm

        • You make a really good point. Movies, novels, etc… definitely material to draw from. But then…all of those writers ‘thought of’ those details too. And so goes the carousel, round and round.

          I’m okay with the crazy/out there opinions too. If my mind ran on the straight and narrow, I wouldn’t be writing fantasy.

          Romance…. yeah I wouldn’t have EVER thought I would be writing in this genre, but alas, here I am. My story took me there. There’s the line-walking I’m referring to. I’d say too…intense maybe? Not graphic, no. It is YA. Lovey dovey…gah! No.

          Beta readers have possibly been the best tool I’ve used since I began my novel. They see things you don’t, hear things you don’t and find all the issues–well most anyway. They are like the glue you need to hold this massive construction together. Your engineer mind can relate to that. When your ready, enlist betas. Once I mustered up the courage to let my story go, there was no going back to drawer-hiding.

          Writing everyday! Awesome. Look forward to the update. 😉

          April 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

  8. Yes…way back in the depths of time, SOMEONE had to come up with those themes and ideas. I wouldn’t like to meet them…

    My story has relationships also, however I’m not sure how much it will venture into romance; probably not much at all.

    Beta readers will scare me. When I think I’ve finished, BAM. Go back three places. Scary!

    It might not be much everyday, but it is something. Some days I will sit there and write out at least 1000. Momentum is building. I wish it would start raining and give me the excuse to stay inside and write.

    April 19, 2012 at 5:23 am

    • Momentum building is what it’s all about. Inspiration comes & goes. Have to push through.

      Three paces back is what it’s all about. Refinement. 😉

      Although waiting for betas to finish with your WIP will drive you crazy as well.

      April 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      • Have you read it yet?
        Have you read it yet?
        Have you read it yet?
        Have you read it yet?

        Yep I can already see it 😉

        April 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        • Hahahaha! Exactly. It’ll drive you mad.

          April 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm

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