Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Birth of A Workshop

Beginning writers often come into learning the craft as an endless stream of course studies to be mastered: POV, plotting, characterization, voice, never once stopping to gauge their own success in one area--irrespective of the others. The self-imposed pressure to become experts at all the components of writing can be overwhelming at times. Seemingly, seasoned, published authors have mastered every nuance of all the elements. But have they really?

What if these writers found the one aspect of writing they could excel, far above most who put pen to paper, and nurtured it. Studied it. Captured its light and savored its warmth so that when they pulled this glowing orb of talent from their writer's toolbox, it outshined the less glistening part of their stories. For the reader, attracted to the light above all others, it is this part of the experience the author draws them like drugged insects to an electronic zapper. What if this is the secret to success as a writer?

As important as it is for writers to fill in the gaps to their knowledge of craft, focusing on the areas their creative side short-changed them might make for a well-rounded read, but will it have the literary pull of a piece of work where one aspect of storytelling can only be described as outstanding? Which will be more memorable in the reader's mind? Which will drive sales of future books?

To this end, I'm focusing my study on the craft of writing into an area most closely resembling my light. The mere idea that it comes naturally to me makes it all the more fascinating to dissect it and learn how my mind can form a cohesive bond with experts in the industry. The unique blend of internal thought and external knowledge could produce something worth repeating.

As a writer, what is your "light"? What "light" do you appreciate in published works?

1 comment:

Sandra Ferguson said...

Oooh, LA, I so think you've hit upon brilliance. There have been times that I've thoroughly enjoyed a book that someone else found only mediocre. Why? Because that part of the writing which moved me most was the most profound, significant in that particular book.

For me, it's an author's voice--that terribly elusive element we all try to capture on paper. A great voice will make me ignore any number of other flaws.