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01 May, 2013

Alive on the page

Alive on the page? Do you ever put a book down and think "Man, that character is crazy", or "Man, I can't stop reading this, I hope she doesn't get caught by the ogre". Or does this happen instead, "Man, that writer used some really powerful words", or "Man, that writer really knows how to mess up a book. I'm done reading this." The difference in the two is just like acting. We love to go to a movie where we can get lost in the character, not in the person playing the character. Personally I hate going to see a movie and I see the actor, not the character, he or she is portraying. Well the same holds true for a novel. A writer wants the reader to feel like the character could come off the page and be a real person. A writer does not want the reader seeing the author. I'm revising my second novel with my advisor in graduate school, and I have caught myself "writing pretty". Writing pretty is my way of saying an author throws words on the page to let the writing flow, without paying attention to the character. You see me as the author, you do not see the character. I find that I write pretty when I am typing solely on the computer (or iPad). I find that my writing is rich and full of character and description when I write long hand. So I've switched to writing my revision and all new material long hand. It takes longer, but then again God blessed me with being able to type over 80 words per minute, so I'm good. Plus the action of writing, and the typing allows me to do more reflection and editing. When my novel is published, you will be glad that I took the time to write long hand. And so will I.

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