by Daniel A. Roberts
What turns a reader into a writer?
We must understand that all writers are, and will always be, a reader first. It’s the primary ingredient, as we chose at one point in our lives to be a writer. For those who juggle words through the smithy of the human imagination, to produce a set of words that creates new worlds, along with the beings who populate them, that first flash of insight comes in different variations.
For some, they want a better ending. They can visualize it. Another writer might want to create a new niche for their point of view. Yet another may want to dazzle a genre in a manner never before seen, with the hopes of sparking a new trend. Inside all of these situations, these people have formed their opinions and gleaned their facts from reading.
There is that rare individual who will create a novel because it’s something they would want to read for themselves, as nobody has ever written that kind of book before.
The main question, however, hasn’t been truly answered yet. I’ve addressed the influences, but the actual grain of change is a different matter entirely. What turns a reader into a writer? It’s a combination of several factors. Like some recipe for baking. There are many ways to bake different kinds of cookies, but the method of mixing and cooking remains mostly unchanged.
First ingredient is courage. It takes pure courage to put something you’ve written before the eyes of another human being. Hearing your creation dressed down by a critic, no matter how friendly or helpful, can be raw on the nerves. The vision is tarnished. The words no longer glow on the page. Your mind has a new, dark cloud that now doubts your own talent for writing. Overcoming that level is a matter of introspection, as the courage needs to be generated by the writer.
Second ingredient is boldness. A writer must be bold enough to assemble ideas in a manner that leads another human being down a predestined path. If the writing itself is fractured, the style comes out feeling lost, there is no boldness, no directive that leads a reader in the direction the writer hopes for. One must be bold. One must lead as such, or the novel won’t come out right.
Third ingredient is imagination. A writer must possess an imagination to create, or they run the risk of assembling a novel filled with words from other writers. As such, they can doom their own careers, so they must come up with their own style. Their own worlds. Their own unique voice, as they master their stories for the enjoyment of other readers.
The final ingredient is love. No, this isn’t some cheesy way to get girls to follow me on Facebook. Love is something a writer must have when they are creating their novels. They have to love writing, they have to love their genre, they must love their characters, or all is lost from the beginning. Writers love to write, because they fell in love with reading first. Pay close attention to this, because like any kind of love, writers can fall out of love with their work. When that happens, their fans know it, and it shows in future novels.
There are other ingredients, like there are for cookies. The basic recipe is always there, but when we add what is unique from our personalities, we change the flavors of those well-written cookies we call novels, and the more variety we have, the better it is for the multitudes of readers who want to sample that tasty novel all for themselves.
Guest post contributed by Daniel A. Roberts. Daniel has written several short stories, most of them free, in between the various novels he has written. Check out his website for more of his work.