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Mark35950 PM
Joined Sep '07

My first love is writing. I find this site to be the perfect forum not only for my own work, but for anyone with a strong imagination and a little free time. I find that writing is a way of freeing oneself from limitation and censorship; no one on this site tells me to "keep it to myself."

Since rediscovering my love of writing, I have purchased several books on the subject. Nothing is gained without cost and the great cost of most things is hard work. Knowing this, I have furthered my education into writing by reading the books listed here and I have hope that everyone who reads this profile will at least consider reading the books I mention, as they have improved my own work considerably.

Scene and Structure by Jack M. Bickham.

Description by Monica Wood.

Setting by Jack M. Bickham.

I also find the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind inspirational as well as instructional. Anyone who is serious about becoming a writer should consider reading his books.

To everyone on this site: I hope you all continue writing and never stop believing in yourselves.

Remember: You don't need a huge vocabulary to write well; you just need to keep your mind wide open.

Update: I have been working on my latest story for two years. It is entitled The New Life. In my pride, I believed that I had finally achieved a true novel, but I find now that i have been posting for a few months, a defictieny I never new existed. After examining the problem, I have come to some suprising conclusions. I am sharing them with you in the hope that you will not make the same mistakes that I did.

I have always tried to emulate my writing idol, Terry Goodkind. I loved writing my whole life and always suspected I would become a writer, but ever since I read Goodkind's world famous series, The Sword of Truth, I have wanted to write like him. To that end, I've studied his Sword of Truth series and learned a great deal about his technique. Unfortunately, I have also made a great deal of mistakes.

Goodkind created works of fiction wherein several stories converged. Richard and Kahlan, Zedd and Ann, Verna and Warren, among others. He often had two main stories and several subplots revolving around them. As testament to his mastery, these stories are woven together into an intricate tapestry that is seamless, marveling in its scope and at the same time alluring. He didn’t write with the goal of filling fifty chapters, rather, he needed fifty chapters just to hold all of his stories.Knowledge of the first realization gives us an understanding of the second. By attempting to emulate Goodkind, I inadvertently harmed my own story. I used the one story I was writing to fill at least fifty chapters. Even Goodkind couldn’t (and wouldn’t) do such a thing. His stories were multiple plots, mine was one. In essence, I was asking one plotline to do the job of several. The third revelation is that, in an effort to fill fifty chapters, I was padding the story, adding in sections of information (sequels) and drawing out events (scenes) in a desperate bid to fill a quota (This practice is not dissimilar to the amateur mistake of piling on adjectives and adverbs in an effort to describe settings with flair). But I was making a great mistake by trying to twist the story to fit the chapters, rather than twisting the chapters to fit the story. One must not judge a story by the size of its chapters; a mistake readers and unfortunately writers often make is to decide whether or not to read a book based on how many chapters it appears to have. Terry Goodkind’s books appear to be fifty-plus novels but in actuality they are two twenty-five chapter novels with a few short stories woven throughout. One must decide within the story how long it will take to reach the climax of the plot. Terry Goodkind set a limit for himself with his first novel, even going so far as providing an actual deadline for the hero to save the world. His wisdom in doing this was infallible. In providing a clear deadline (pun intended) for saving the world, he upped the ante, increasing the pressure placed on Richard to find the object (story goal) and prevent the villain from destroying the world. He clearly defined a span of a few months to tell the story. In doing so, he prevented himself from wandering, budgeting his time as well as that of his protagonist’s, allowing both himself and Richard to remain focused on the story goal. One must always have a clear idea of not only how the story will end, but when. In conclusion, a writer must place his story beginning and ending as close together as possible while providing adequate space for a 50,000 plus dramatic prose. I only hope I can live by his fine example and do better in the future.

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