Writing Tips: How to Improve your genre writing.
“You are what you eat from your head down to your feet,” a somewhat paraphrase of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s, who lived on both sides of the year 1800, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
I was rummaging in my files here and found notes on something I used to teach. No, it wasn’t a History lesson, at least not exactly. But I suppose if you really look at it and think about it History is a big part of it, your intake History. And yes this has to do with writing.
There was a pastor at my church a number of years ago that influenced me in a great many ways, his name was/is Dr. Jim Burkett. He has retired from pastoring now, I believe, but he hasn’t stopped ministry. He teaches Apologetics classes and does conferences.
There was something that he used to say that I use in every part of my life, not just church life. Dr. Burkett had a take on that expression about being what you eat and it came from scripture about renewing your mind.
I paraphrase here his idea in my own words but with the same meaning.
“What you put into your mind is what you get out of it.”
For me I keep my intake as uplifting as possible. If I intake uplifting then I can give out uplifting.
“But how does this apply to writing?”
If you read great writing,
You know great writing,
Then you can recognize great writing in your work.
Don’t read junk!
If you want to be a science fiction writer what kind of books are you reading? Cookbooks and Romance?
If you want to write great science fiction then you need to read great science fiction.
“But I don’t want to be like everyone else.”
Neither do I, but what you are doing is
learning a genre, its elements so that you
can incorporate those into your work.
If you pitch a science fiction piece of yours to an agent and they end up reading a fantasy romance, they are likely going to pass.
1) You may have pitched to a science fiction person who doesn’t represent fantasy
2) Because their mind was geared for one thing and you gave them another and now they think you don’t know what you are talking about.
“But I want to be writing, not reading. I don’t have the time.”
Yes you do. If you want to have your work out there for the world to see then you need to do the homework.
A lot of agents say read and read more of what you want to write but they don’t always say why. I wanted to give you an idea of what part the reason is.
If you want to have an output of confused junk then read confused junk. If you want an output of great writing in your genre, then intake great writing in your genre.
What Good Intake do you put Into your Mind?
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