a tale of two cities, blogging, brian jacques, c.s. lewis, charles dickens, dee henderson, fahrenheit 451, g.a. henty, irene hannon, j.r.r. tolkien, lord of the rings, madeleine l'engle, ray bradbury, redwall, sir arthur conan doyle, story dynamics, teens can write too blog chain, the silmarillion, writing
We’re back again!
I am so sorry, I’m posting this a day late. I had planned to schedule it, but… well, let’s just say that though I know better than to excuse myself to my instructors at college, you guys might actually forgive me if I say that work and college conspired to destroy ANY plans I had for this week. AT ALL. Also, late happy St. Nicholas’ Day and on time happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!
I know it’s been a while since I posted for the Teens Can Write Too blog chain, but I had good excuses. Crazy college and a new job made me take a hiatus from blogging for a while. I kind-of almost want to change to a history major, but I’m going to hang on with what I have now–I figure that if I want a history degree later, I can get a history degree later by transferring credits and attending part-time. Besides, I don’t think you need a degree to go to history conventions and get in on that conversation. History people are awesome.
Well, that’s enough about that.
On to the prompt!
Over the years, I have learned a lot, mainly by following the example of other authors. Remember how there’s that annoying little thing where your writing tends to mimic the style of the last author you read? Well, that’s part of it. But only part of it.
From The Lord of the Rings and the Redwall series, I learned about style and pacing. In Redwall, the style is very concrete, and the pacing is quick; when you get to the crises of the books, it’s a hard-hitting series of events leading rapidly up to the climax. The Lord of the Rings is paced slower and has a bit more of an ornate style. I have had my style compared to Tolkien’s *glares at Iris, sitting in the audience*, but I tend to prefer Jacques’ pacing.
From Irene Hannon, Dee Henderson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I learned the value of not broadcasting your plot twists all over the place. Normally I have intuitions about whodunit, but in these cases I could not see the villain until he was right in my face. Genius.
From G.A. Henty, I learned that it’s okay to take detours. (Okay, Tolkien does that too, but I read Henty first.) Adding in side plots to prolong a quest+character development for side characters=an equation for 300 pages of a good read. (Don’t hate on me. 50k is all well and good, but I like books that are 150k or 200k, even. I read The Lord of the Rings in nine days straight and actually finished reading The Silmarillion.)
From A Tale of Two Cities, I learned the value of keeping up with history and using a cultural and historic background to my advantage. Realism is the name of the game, and while you’re simulating realism, it helps to be knowledgeable about the real history behind it.
From Fahrenheit 451 I learned the importance of keeping calm through criticism. (Don’t ask me how; that’s just the lesson I took away from it. I pick up on odd things sometimes.) I’m not used to being criticized in a negative light. If you’ve been reading my blog, and especially the comments on the posts, it’s only been once or twice that I haven’t received abject praise. I don’t know if that’s because I’m good at what I do or if I have a feel for what my audience likes or if they just can’t find anything to criticize. But it’s hard to be criticized since I’m so used to praise. I just have to find out what’s relevant, and not let the rest get to me.
From C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle, I learned that it’s okay to write the tough books, the ones that might get you hated on. You might be shocked to see how much criticism gets to me, even if you’ve known me forever, but I learned from reading Lewis’ and L’Engle’s works that you have to just kick fear in the teeth and write it. You’ll be surprised by how much support you garner.
You have to write the book that wants to be written, and if it’s too difficult for adults, write it for children. ~~ Madeleine L’Engle
10th – http://kirabudge.weebly.com/
16th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/
25th – [off-day]
31st – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)
Oh, are you still here?
I apologize again for posting late. Don’t stick around here, though! Head right over to the next blog and don’t miss out on their post!
Thanks for reading, and God Bless!