Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Just Because an Expert Says So....

...doesn't necessarily make it true.

Folks, be careful who you listen to. Because, between you, me and the "Submit" button, a lot of writing experts don't know any more than you and I. A few know less. And I have a real problem with those who aren't in the writing trenches, giving out advice as if they are the know-all-be-all of writing directions. Kinda like a guitar player giving out advice on brain surgery. Do you get what I'm saying?

Yet, some hard-working authors can offer writing tips that seem so simple, they practically enfold you in a blanket of warm common sense. You nod and think, "Wow, now this I could get into. This I get. This resonates with me."

Because, here's the thing. None of us write alike. None. Yet most of us can produce a quality product. Yes, there are rules to be adhered to. Some we learned in school:. Capitalize the first word in every sentence. If using more than one verb in a sentence, make sure they're the same tense. Learn when to use I versus me. As commercial writers, we're learning new rules. New writing tactics. Make sure you are learning them from people who know--who truly know.

If you're hearing one kind of advice from one camp and something completely different from somewhere else. And maybe even a third from another person, then stop listening. Step back and USE your righteous mind. Otherwise you're going to be running around like Henny Penny, the chicken in the children's story, thinking the sky is falling. I can't write to please anyone. I can't follow all the rules. It seems like the rules keep changing--and face it--in some cases, they are!  I can't understand why I've lost my love of writing. It's because you're listening to too many "experts." Invest in some writing rule books, with recent copyright dates, and learn the rules on your own. Stop relying on everyone else telling you what to do.  Read new writers, take note of how they've done things. Because you can be sure they've had to jump through the editing hoops in place now. For example, ten years ago writing oh my God as three sentences would never have flown. Now it's done all the time. I've even seen it in separate paragraphs on different lines. Can you imagine?

I read my old favorite authors for how they crafted a story. I read the newbies for how they add emphasis on deep emotion.

And I read writing experts to exercise my sneer muscles.


Liz Flaherty said...

Oh, and the things, they are a-changin'--on a daily basis! Good post, Vonnie.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Us children of the sixties did learn to think for ourselves, didn't we? Thanks for reminding us, Vonnie.

Joanne Stewart said...

An excellent post, V. I'm a child of the 80's. I was taught to do as I was told. lol So, this is a lesson I'm only just learning. Thank you for being the voice of reason and for being a rebel. ;)

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Things also change from editor to editor and sometimes I think from mood to mood. How are we to keep up?

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Margo, we questioned everything and everyone...and trusted few.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

What gets me, Joanne, is when someone preaches one thing and then, for whatever reason, changes mid-stream leaving us to wonder why. That really puts my undies in a twist. Thinking for ourseves is always the better way. Read the rules, learn and then do what feels best to us.

Angela Adams said...

Thanks for the post!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks for being YOU!!!