Writer’s Wisdom 91

Magic Versus Grounding

How do you like to write your fiction?  Do you like magical settings and characters, or do you like some grounding elements that may give the story more realism?  I would choose one or the other for good continuity.  The Harry Potter books are a good example of magical worlds.  Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is an example of grounding a magical and fictional world.  She gave her vampires and werewolves characteristics of nature or used cultural folklore to make her settings and characters more real to the reader.

To ground a fictional story you can utilize science as well.  You can stretch the imagination of the reader but still keep a small piece tied to the ground.

Writer’s Wisdom 68

What fits into the story?

When writing a story many ideas will come to you; sometimes the gates of inspiration will be open and a flood of characters, circumstances and themes will overtake you.  You may be tempted to incorporate all in your story, after all, you may think – they came to you while writing that particular story.  Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Some things may not fit in the current chain of events, and may fit later – or not fit at all.  However, write down these  ideas as they will become fuel for other writing projects.

When editing your current story, mind how things fit together.  Cut out what doesn’t fit right or what seems lengthy and does not contribute anything to it.   Readers will devour a story with an easy flow .  The Twilight Saga from Stephenie Meyer is a good example of mammoth books with excellent flow for the reader.

Writer’s Wisdom 66

Mind your ideas.

Ideas come from everywhere; from something you heard, saw, remembered, an object, a smell, or from something you read.  Some writers avoid reading the genre in which they are writing their current piece.  The reason, they are weary of borrowing any ideas, without intention.

The other day I read about the lawsuit going on between the estate of  British author Adrian Jacobs and J.K. Rowling.  It alleges plagiarism on Rowling’s part, but of course, not substantiated.  It got me thinking on how many similar ideas float in a writer’s world, and how easy is to be influenced by a similar idea.  I don’t consider this plagiarism, as many people can have the same idea and express it in a completely different way.  This is not a copy.  However, more than ever, we should mind our ideas, since writing has evolved in so many ways due to the internet and the many ways in which you can share your work these days.  Ideas are free, and you are free to write what you want, as long as it does not land you in already claimed territory.