Monday, October 22, 2007

A tag and a warning

I feel particularly chuffed to have been tagged to do a Writer's Meme by Phish. First of all because he writes magnificiently, in my opinion, and second of all it tells me I'm a writer and that feels strangely nice. I say strangely because being a writer never appealed to me, even though I've been one forever, like it or not. Now it's more pleasing, I think I'm more in touch to what it means to be a writer and more in touch with other writers. Of course, this term refers to all of us bloggers, we're all writers.

I'm supposed to mention the qualities of a good writer or good writing, so let me think.

What amazes me more about books is how close they can get to you. You're sitting there with a book in your hands and you read something that your mind has said so many times before, you yelp to yourself and you have to read it again, not believing anyone in the world could have thought the same thing as you. So a good writer has to have this ability to reach out to people and speak the same language as them. If you ask me, it's not that hard because even if you're the weirdest person on earth, there's bound to be someone else out there that thinks like you. ;)

I also need to understand what the writer is talking about. It can be an excelent writer, with lots of brilliant ideas and a wonderful skill with vocabulary, but if I don't understand the words or where they're heading I will drop the book. Life's too short to read something that doesn't mean anything to you.

Simplicity is often the best policy. Mastering the vocabulary and the structure is great, it really is, but if you reach the same conclusion, using simple words and the purest of sentences...then you are a great writer!

Originality is crucial. How awful is it when you open a book and feel like you've already read all that was written? The stories have all been told, the great writer tells them in a way that seems completely new and original to you. The ending is expected but the twists and turns in the middle make you laugh or gasp. There's humour, sometimes there's complete nonsense, a concept that looks completely out of place and makes you laugh.

Finally, there's something that I was talking to Chrispito about. Why are there writers than you immediately feel connected to and others that you simply can't enjoy? Sometimes it's not about the technical details, nor the ideas in the plot. I wonder if there's a writing chemistry. I wonder if there's a bloggers chemistry. And if it can't really be chemistry because we're not physically in the same place, then it must be something else that unites us in ways that aren't visible to the human eye. This is the 'thing' responsible for making us experience emotion through books, it's the magic of the writer.

Almost forgot I had to tag people! I will be tagging people that haven't been blogging as much as they should ;) Call it a little stimulus. Whether they'll do it or not, it's completely up to them.

- FB

I also want to warn anyone who's interested that November is just round the corner and that means it's the month to write a novel. If you want to know more visit NaNoWriMo's site. I won't be participating but I will be writing nevertheless.


Scholiast said...

Why, thank you :) I was actually blogging around today, wondering if I shouldn't do some proper blogging soon...

I'm not going to read what you did first, I don't think - I'll write something myself then come back to read yours and see if I got it all wrong... :-D

[oh, and the first "why" is a Shakespearean "why" - meaning something like "wow"!]

Scholiast said...

... but it's not going to be a novel, that's for sure. Not yet ;)

phish said...

way to go! i wish all the people i tagged had this sense of urgency about them. and this is special. not just for me but for all your readers!

btw, do you realise that all that you said pretty much qualifies you as well?

illiterate as i am, i do not know if this is writer chemistry, at the end of the day we are just using words, but i am so so so glad to have picked you on this one.

p.s. the trackback needs to be corrected to read
from what it is right now, i.e. merely pointing to my blog.

i need to make a small addition as well, pointing mine to your now 'delivered' meme.

that should pressurise the others.
but hey, devil, you have bowled me over. again.

kimananda said...

I'll be taking up this challenge...the idea that I've signed up to do NaBloPoMo, where I get to post everyday in November seems a bit ludicrous to me, just because my schedule is so mad at the moment...but I am in the mood to blog, and I'm hoping to get the bug back for it. So, thanks for the tag! Oh, and in theory, I'm also doing NaNoWriMo, just to prove that I am trying to totally lose my mind with stuff to do!

And, I definitely see you as a writer, but of course I only know you via your writing. It's interesting that you don't see yourself in this way.

chrispito said...

I find it interesting that you don't 'see' yourself as a writer! Even when your posts have been two lines long, I'm engaged.
Writing is a very demanding process emotionally. If I could name my weakness as a writer, it's assuming that no one will know what I'm talking about,so I add all kinds of unnecessary details. Or, I don't add enough!
That's why blogging is so valuable for writers: feedback. Questions! Things that make you go hmmm...

Niall said...

I agree with Chrispito!..I've always said that seeing the world through your eyes is a challenging and wonderful experience.

I do believe there is a 'Bloggers Chemistry'..other wise how can it be that often the thousands of mile that separate mean so little..and your words, or the words of others can lift me to the hieghts of intoxication in one word and then render me like a crying child in the next?


Devil Mood said...

Scholiast: I know, I've never read Shakespeare but I'm reading Alice in Wonderland, there's a lot of whys there ;)
I'd be very glad to read yours!

Phish: Thanks :) I think one should follow one's principles - I shouldn't preach about writing if I don't try to be the best I can.
I've already corrected the link, I was too lazy the other day. ;)

Kim: ahaah You are something else! I can't wait for November to see that :) I miss your posts. I think I've become more 'writer' lately, but it still hasn't sunk in on my self-image.

Chrispito: Oh thanks ;) I don't see that as a fault - you can't guess what other people know, you probable have to take a risk. Sometimes the details are delicious, other times it's more delicious to read something mysterious. I certainly can't recall having trouble with the excess or lack of details in your posts. I agree that it's very demanding, yes!

Niall: Thank you. I'll simply have to accept it, I'm a writer. ;) But the most valuable thing has been getting the feedback from you and other bloggers, otherwise writing could have been kept in a corner.

dharmabum said...

hey devil, thats a good take, put very down quite precisely.

i'm not gonna comment on the writer bit - we are waht we think we are.

about the chemistry - i think its less to do with the writer or his/her style. i feel its mroe to do with the reader and what we're looking for.

kudos on completing the tag - mine is still pending :(

Ps said...

You are undoubtedly a writer.You seem to have expressed exactly what I feel.You seem to have said it all,even though it has been said before--yet in a completely original way.I love the way you wrrote this.(But then I love almost anything you write!)
Well done.

Scholiast said...

Done! Now that I read what you wrote I see I've forgotten half of what I ought to have said... But that's why I'm reading it now ..

And I didn't tag anyone either! Deary me ... Well, it anyone wants to do it they probably will, regardless!

Novel Nymph said...

Hi Devil!

My tag response:

d.h.roark said...

the first point is so spot on... that you read something you've thought and that's amazing -like a discovery in itself. reading is its own magic, isn't it.
so yr piece has been great writing coz it made a reader connect!

Devil Mood said...

Dharmabum: You're so right, the reader and their intentions and what they're searching for is fundamental :)

PS: oh that's so sweet. I'm glad you liked it!

Scholiast: I liked your tag! Nothing wrong with it.

Novel: Lovely!

DH: That's always my goal, so GREAT!