Sunday, May 13, 2007

Being a Writer

Have you ever thought about what it means to be a writer?

I have written since I was a little girl. Writing has always been in my blood, a part of my soul. For me, writing means putting pen to paper and seeing what will come out. Other than a church newsletter and poetry invitations in Dickens’ Style for an annual Dickens Street Faire, I have been published five times in my life; recently a short story in Adventures of the Average Woman and poetry years ago in some spiritual chapbooks. My hope is to continue to publish my short stories and complete my novel and have it published. But, if none of these things come to pass, I will still call myself a writer.

I love writing and putting words together and figuring out how to create an image, or evoke a feeling. As a writer, it is my job to pull the reader in and keep him or her happy until the end of the story. Hopefully, the reader will remember and be satisfied with my ending. If I can do those two things, then I have succeeded as a writer.

One of my pet peeves is the use of adverbs, the writer’s taboo. Good thing because I despise those pesty little rodents. However, I have learned that they sometimes have a place. For example, I used “hopefully” in the paragraph above. I could have written “I hope.” I made a conscious choice to use the adverb because it did not weaken my sentence.

I worry most about adverbs in my fiction. When I first started writing, my fiction was riddled with adverbs. I thought they made my writing more colorful, strengthened images. It was when I learned to describe (show) rather then use an adverb (tell) that I began to feel better about my writing. Sometimes I might choose an adverb, especially if the scene is fast paced and already has a lot of description.

© 2007 by Susan Littlefield

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