Friday, February 7, 2014

Are You a Writer or a Storyteller? That is the Question.

"Story is more important than style. Most Bestsellers aren't stylistic masterpieces. Instead, the authors offer prose that is merely workmanlike. The prose doesn't interfere with the story. Many great stylists are actually challenging to read, and their stories become opaque and obscured due to overwriting. Bestsellers on the other hand are usually easily understood."

-Dave Wolverton (Dave Farland's Kick in the Pants)

I found this quote in my inbox today. I think it's a super hopeful one.  I've never claimed to be a great writer, nor have I ever wanted to be.  This is because there are writers, and then there are storytellers. I happen to be a storyteller. 

When I was in grade school, struggling with dyslexia, I would get so frustrated because I had all of these great story ideas floating around in my head--if you know much about dyslexia, you know that we think in pictures and concepts rather than words. My frustration stemmed from the fact that I couldn't seem to get my brain to find the words to describe my concepts and pictures. 

Thankfully, over time, things got easier.  But it wasn't until I was a senior year of high school that I finally fell in love with the actual "act" of writing.

Today, I write every day because of the pleasure of the "act," sure, but much more than that, I write, because I need to tell stories.  While I think I have a few poetic moments here and there in my work--and they get more frequent the more I write--I'll be the first to tell you that my writing is much more "workmanlike." But I'm okay with that. Why? Because my story is good. I've always known that it was. (It had to be for me to stick with it for eight years ;-).)  I just had to keep on working at the writing thing until it was adequate enough to show everyone else my story was good. 

Pictured above are the various manuscripts I wrote, revised, tore apart, rewrote, and in short, poured my blood, heart and soul into during 2013.  All in all, it was a pretty productive year.

Today, however, I'm very happy to say that this afternoon, I sent my very final edits to my editor at Cedar Fort. Unless there is some unforeseen calamity with the Muse powers that be, Uncovering Cobbogoth is FINALLY finished.

And I am SO happy.

If there is anything I have learned over this journey, it is to believe in myself, to surround myself with other people who believe in me, and to believe in God. I'm not sure why He cares about something as eternally insignificant as my ability to tell stories, but He does.  I wouldn't have made it here, otherwise.

No matter what star you're reaching for, you've got to believe.

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