I should be writing in my story.
I should be working on that blog tag I started.
I should be doing some of the things on my kite-tail-long to-do list.
And I shouldn’t be writing a blog post right now when I’ve got so many other posts coming up. Probably no one will even pay attention to this.
But regardless, I’m going to talk about a couple things that are on my heart tonight.
I have a peculiar writing style. I write by scenes. That means I have a scene in mind and write until it’s done. Then I see how long it was and how or if it needs to be divided into chapters. And then I tackle the next scene that comes up.
I also think as I write. That means I take time to think out what I really want to say, and I rewrite things a lot. I will go back and reread and rewrite what I just wrote a few minutes ago. Often, I write out a scene and then come back the next day and flesh it out and add more details and rewrite things. I basically edit as I write. I don’t edit or rewrite much after my book is done.
As for my language and style, it’s pretty old-fashioned. I am a classics girl all the way. My go-to, comfort reads are 1800s books. I love Shakespeare and Jane Austen and Charles Dickens and John Burroughs and Winston Churchill and Walter Scott.
I don’t have much of a plot in mind generally. I sometimes have a brief skeleton of an outline—the beginning, the end, and the climax. The rest usually comes as I write. It all depends on the story. But I never outline before starting a book, or do character questionnaires. I discover my stories, themes, characters, and all else as I write.
I’m a long-winded author. I describe a lot. I have lengthy dialogue. I detail everything.
I tend to tackle tough topics before I know I’m doing it. I write from empathy and passion and having read widely. I don’t research much.
I write books that are almost all in a similar niche.
I write realistic fantasy—I have a real, contemporary land which is part old-fashioned and part contemporary and is in a real political mess. I don’t bother very much about logistics and realism. I focus on characters and messages.
In other words, my writing is pretty niched.
And that is not easy.
During Camp KDWC, I was often frustrated because I wanted to do fun word crawls with the other girls—or myself—and couldn’t. It just didn’t fit my writing style. I went too slow when I stopped to think, or too fast when the words poured in and I didn’t want to stop. Besides, I hated stopping before my scene was ended.
Recently I’ve been reading writing rules/advice on Pinterest and have gotten really discouraged. My writing just didn’t fit in. I didn’t write first drafts and rewrite them a zillion times. I edited as I wrote. I didn’t plot or outline or run my characters through questionnaires. I didn’t write short, concise writing and stick only to short words. The ugly fact is, my writing isn’t “good” writing, according to the experts and standards. And it definitely isn’t popular.
Honestly, that is super tough for me. I am an extreme people-pleaser. I want everyone to love my stories. I’m having a hard time going through beta-comments because I want my book to be “perfect.”
But what IS perfect?
There isn’t really any perfect.
I’m writing what I love. I’m writing stories that rest me. I’m writing out lessons that I desperately need to hear. I’m writing characters that I seriously LOVE. I’m writing things that make me so happy.
I’m writing for ME.
Not that I’m not writing for God. But what I mean is, as far as style goes, I’m writing my “jam.” These stories are pretty much EXACTLY the type of thing I would LOVE to pick up and read. They’re MY style. My niche. They’re ME.
And that makes them perfect for ME.
That doesn’t mean they’ll be perfect for everyone. And that’s okay. Just because it’s not for everyone doesn’t make it bad. I believe that Anne of Green Gables is one of the best literary works ever and I have a good friend who despises it. And that doesn’t make either me, her, or Anne bad. It makes us, US.
And it takes my unique writing style to make these unique books. It works for me. And who’s to say it’s wrong?
There are some rules we all need to follow. But even them, sometimes it’s okay to break them. As a copyeditor, reader, and writer, I say, sometimes it’s okay to break the rules.
If you want to know, I’ve deliberately broken the sacred punctuation rules a couple times. Because *I* wanted a certain look and style and sound. And that makes my writing ME.
And that’s the beauty of writing. It’s so absolutely unique.
And who decides what makes a great book? The greatest novel I know is basically unknown. Some books have achieved immortality, but does that automatically make them great?
Greatness isn’t found in popularity.
And we’re not called to be popular, we’re called to be true and different and Jesus-following.
So you know what? I’ll keep writing my unrealistic, emotional, detailed, old-fashioned, Canadian-spelt books as long as God keeps leading me to. Because even if they don’t help or reach anyone else, they help me. And I still count. And if God gave me them, it’s for a reason. So I can just leave that in His all-wise hands.
So this is a long, rambly, unfinished, imperfect post. But I hope this truth helped you as much as it did me.