What is writing?
To answer this question we need to examine what we're doing when we write, when we tell stories. In other words, what is the essence of story telling?
Here's what Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files, has to say:
Writing, in its most essential sense, is an artificial means for getting thoughts and images which reside in YOUR brain over to the guy holding your book in the most effective and accurate fashion possible, so that the reader will successfully translate your thoughts into HIS brain. The written word uses symbols to describe sights, sounds, and situations, in order to let the reader create the story inside his own imagination as he reads.(I find it hugely interesting that in my all-time-favorite book, On Writing, Stephen king describes writing as telepathy. Same idea, different expression.)
Writing is the original virtual reality. (Jim Butcher, Story Craft)
To make sure the transmission of thoughts, images and feelings goes well we work on the art and craft of writing. Jim Butcher calls it Story Craft. He writes:
Story craft, writing technique, story structure. They're all different names that mean the same thing [...]. They describe the practice of methodically approaching the writing of any given story with a definite, specific goal, and a plan for making that narrative engaging and entertaining as possible. (Jim Butcher, Story Craft)In other words:
Simply put, story craft is nothing more and nothing less than manipulating the emotions of your reader. [emphasis mine] (Jim Butcher, Story Craft)To write well, we must evoke emotions in our readers. There are two key things here: emotions and readers. Currently I'm writing a series on how build and use a writer's platform to attract readers. Next week I'll talk more about how to make our characters likable.
Good writing. Cheers!
Other articles you might like:
- On The Art Of Creating Believable Characters: No Mr. Nice Guy
- Perfection Is The Death Of Creativity
- What Is A Writer's Platform?
- Does Every Writer Need A Platform?
Photo credit: Mario Pleitez