I recently read on someone else’s blog that writers have to be detached from the real world in order to write. I’m not sure that is totally true. It may be the case for a few, but I believe that many carry on normal day to day lives. I personally would not want to be a professional writer as I think the constant strain of a contract to write a certain number of books in a specified time would be too much and may even be the cause of writer’s block in some. Before, I go into more, here’s a quick quiz to see what you know. Without looking up the answers, see how many you know.
- Who is Lenny Small?
- How many pages were in the original Green Mile?
- Who wrote Last of the Breed?
- Who wrote A Moveable Feast which was a posthumously published?
- What author wrote a science fiction novel that was entitled the same as POW camp where he was a prisoner of war during World War II?
- Who wrote The Prince and the Pauper?
- Who is Agnes Fleming?
- Who wrote the historical novels known as The Leatherstocking Tales?
- Who wrote The Primrose Path?
- Who wrote The Rape of Nanking?
If someone reminds me, I’ll add the answers at the end of the week. Otherwise you can always look them up. I have read numerous books by each and some of them have been hard to put down and others hard to complete. Every one of the authors left their name in the literary history books for all time.
Many people write for many reasons. There is the person that keeps a personal journal to document their daily life. There’s another that writes stories with hope of being published in a magazine some day. There’s the short story writer who wants to make a name for himself. And there’s the novelist who will spend months if not years pounding out what he hopes is the next best seller, or better yet, the next immortal classic.
I fall into a different class, I to remember words. I hope if I use those words that used to come to me so naturally often enough, some day they will be natural again. There are days when the words flow faster than my fingers can type them, but normally, I have to spend what seems to be hours to remember a word like “ecstatic”. Of all the after effects one can experience after a stroke, the loss of the ability to communicate your thoughts is not the worse that can happen, but it is not something I would wish on anyone.
I used to have aspirations of becoming the next Garrison Keillor, one of the greatest story tellers of our time, but when there are days when I cannot even carry on a simple conversation I know that will never happen.
I may never be the story teller I once dreamed of being, but here are some of what I think distinguishes a great story teller from a good story teller:
- The purpose of writing is to relate a story to the reader. A good writer will convey that story in a manner that will express it in a clear and memorable manner. A great writer will not only communicate the story but will take you on the journey with him so you enjoy it firsthand.
- A good writer can get you to visualize the story through his words. A great writer can turn on a movie projector in your mind and you don’t even realize there are written words.
- A good writer will spend tireless hours ensuring that the story is to the best of his ability. A great writer will sit at the keyboard and let the story spill out from his brain to his fingertips.
- A good writer wants to tell stories for his audience to read. A great writer has a need to tell those same stories whether he wants to or not.
- A good writer writes for others. A great writer writes for himself and then shares with others.
- A good writer will enable you to see the daisy in the vase on the table with the slightly limp petals but still displaying its vibrant yellows. A great writer will have you experiencing not only the view of the whole garden, but you will be able to smell how the fragrances of the roses compliment the perfume of the peonies.
Why do you write?