Self-examination vs Self-indulgence
Self-examination is brutally honest. Self-indulgence is brutally maudlin.
Writing requires the author to be harshly candid about motive, intent, and goal, which, of course, mean self-examination. On the other hand, a lack of sincerity becomes self-indulgence, which is self-pitying.
Writers must know why they are writing, their motive. Is it for money, acclaim, or self-satisfaction? Is it to inform, entertain, or convince the reader? Is it to fulfill a desire to titillate, deceive, or subvert the reader? The author must be sincere when he or she considers the desire.
Generally speaking, writers have more than one goal as they compose. In today's world where non-fiction makes up the greatest percentage of writing, the motive is to inform or convince with the secondary motive being financial. Most authors want to be published to acquire financial assets or to become wealthy, but the first consideration is to have something to say that is relevant to the intended readership. Fiction writers often write for a need to express themselves and to entertain while poets put forth their passion to amuse, to beguile, to foment, to excite, and to purge. All writers, therefore, must establish their motive and be conscientious.
Thus writers have three goals--to inform, to entertain, and to convince. In this world of information overload, the writer has an important role because dissemination of information is, for the most part, achieved through the written word, even in television. Before the pictures, comes the text and writers generate this although they often work behind the scenes.
Entertainment is accomplished through the eyes, the ears, and other senses, but, again, before this happens, the writer is the primary source of the ideas that become articles, books, movies, or television programs. Last but not least, is the motive to convince, and again the writer is responsible for this. Advertising, political campaigning, religion--all want to persuade the reader, audience, spectators, and listeners that it to their advantage to accept what is offered. Behind the scene, again, is the writer.
Thus, the writer must submit to self-examination with candor and intensity to be sure that motives are fulfilling, not just self-gratifying. If it is self-indulgence then it is effusively sentimental, lacking in substance and fidelity-the dedicated writer's anathema.
Charles Goulet has a BA in history and BEd in English literature. He has several historical novels published.
Charles O. Goulet
Review In 29 Steps Plus One
I just finished to read a book. A story for kids (yes, I like them), interesting, told with participation and sometimes irony.
Good writing is like sex. Two people are involved - the writer and the reader.
To Outline Or Not To Outline
Ah, the age-old writer's debate--to outline or not to outline?Outlines have proven quite effective for a lot of writers, and many of the famous stories we know and love--such as Star Wars--were outlined before they were fleshed out into a living, breathing story. (Well, metaphorically living and breathing, anyway.
The Myths Of Writing: Have You Bought Into These?
There is an image most people carry of the artist (think Van Gough's self-portrait, the one with his ear bandaged), working in solitude in a barren garret in a dark corner of the city. Everyday is a struggle.
Top 5 Rules of English Grammar
Communication is effective when we follow certain rules. These rules make the written words understood.
An Introduction to Self Publishing Material
Any article, report or book which is bought or sold with reproduction rights is generally referred to as self-publishing material. Most commonly, this material consists of reports or articles varying in length from 1 to 20 or more pages.
Technical Writing for the Terrified
IntroductionSometimes it may be beyond a companies or individuals budget to hire a professional writer to address their technical documentation. Although in an ideal world all technical documentation should be produced by a highly trained expert, unfortunately we do not live in an ideal.
How to Write Your Op-Ed Piece
Op-ed articles, also known as opinion/editorial articles, are a great way for aspiring writers to publicize their work and, in exchange, receive an amazing amount of publicity for free. You can write an op-ed piece and get it publicized provided you follow these simple rules.
I call it cheap therapy. That gushing, near-religious, poured-from-the-body stress release that comes after writing my heart out for hours each day, delivers more balm to my soul than years of psychoanalysis.
Freelance Writing: How Many Regular Clients Should You Have?
This is a tough question for every freelance writer. For me, the worst working scenario is when a few weeks go by and all my work comprises one-off jobs for small clients who never become repeat customers.
Im Just The Writer
Writers are often are greatly surprised or disappointed by how their work is changed when it is adapted for the big screen. When Irwin Shaw's World War II novel The Young Lions was shot in Paris in 1958, the Nazi character was played by Marlon Brando.
Suspense Novels Made Easy
Suspense novels are probably the easiest novels to write. Suspense novels require a simple formula, which will make your work truly suspenseful.
Nonfiction Idea Generators
The hardest part of nonfiction writing is finding a subject to write about. Unless you're a student or a professional writer no one is going to select a topic for you.
A New Way To Self Publish
More and more good authors are turning to the Internet to self publish. There are several reasons for that.
Starting a Local Writers Group
My husband is no poet, so when I offer my carefully pruned poetry for him to review, I get the usual and unsatisfying reply: "That' nice sweetie." Furthermore, he could care less about whom the Poet Laureate is and why I love his smoke pit conversation type poems.
How To Filter Description Through Your Characters
How do you describe a scene without slowing down the pace of your novel? What do you include? What do you leave out? Here's a neat trick: use your own experiences as a guide.When we encounter a new setting or new experience, all our senses are on the alert.
When a writer is working on their next literary masterpiece the first opinions to be asked for are usually those of the writer's family and friends. But often when we ask for a friendly critique we get more than we anticipated.
Top Ten Tips (Part 2)
Golden Rules For New Writers - Things you need to know before you begin.Rules govern everything we do in life; even if those rules are of theunwritten kind we abide by them and expect other people to do the same.
Going On A Word Diet
There are three ways to write a first draft. One is to ink whatever surfaces, in whatever order without regard to grammar, spelling or staying on topic.
How to Pitch a Story
Ever wonder why we refer to convincing an editor a story is worthy by "pitching a story?" I have. I'm a baseball enthusiast, and it makes a lot of sense to me.