On Writing

“I wrote a book. It sucked. I wrote 9 more books. They sucked, too. Meanwhile, I read every single thing I could find on publishing and writing, went to conferences, joined professional organisations, hooked up with fellow writers in critique groups, and didn’t give up. Then I wrote one more book..” Beth Revis

What a spirit! Something to aim for!

What is ‘Good writing’? Only you know – the reader. The reader is never something abstract. It is a huge energy of consciousness, minds and emotions multiplied by the millions of opinions.
The reader is a part of the book, a collaborator. You can’t push the book down the readers throat to make sales only. In a long run it will give you NOTHING. 

So how one single person (writer=you), can make/or keep the world of the never-satisfied readers absolutely happy? Short answer – you can’t. That’s why we are moving to the complex answer: 

Place 1: Writing Style
Place 2: Ideas
Place 3: Hero
Place 4: Plot

I know many of you will disagree with me. No need to scream: ‘Its all about the plot!’…or ‘If I do not like the hero I don’t like the book too!’ I hear you, peeps! And I agree. But how do you know who is the hero or what kind of the plot is it?

Example: Let’s say you see 10 books on the table and you have to choose only 1 to read. You know nothing about the author, heroes or plot in those books. All you can do (and will do) ->  picking up and reading a couple of paragraphs. 

The truth of HOW you are going to choose:

  • if you like the way words dance together, if the writing style speaks to you – then you’ll choose this book.

As you see, at the end of the day – it’s all about the words. How to make them shine or sneak inside of the readers hearts who right now are sarcastically smiling miles away from you…

Hello, Mr Poopkin!
Your new book arrived yesterday.
Read. Enjoyed. One question only:
‘Is it about the unusual pooping way?’
Never Yours, Reader

Statement 1: If you don’t like the way the author writes – you won’t be interested to continue reading his/or her work.
Statement 2: The book without any outstanding (or at least recognizable) writing style is faceless. The style is your signature.
Statement 3: The readers are never kind. Unless they are too kind, like Ray. 

Sad, but nobody cares much about the writing style in the ‘commercial fiction’ nowadays. If it’s ‘clean’ and ‘well-polished’ with a nice kick-ass heroes and shaking-to-my-bones plot – it is SIMPLY BEST SELLER! That’s why at least 80% on the book market is well done crap. 

Something to remember: 

  • Plot does not define story. Plot is the framework within which ideas are explored and personalities and relationships are unfolded.
  • Ideas are the heart of the book.

Also I believe in the words “if a book isn’t self-explanatory, then it isn’t worth reading/ or writing,” – Paulo Coelho. No matter in what kind of genre you are working – the book is a part of your soul (not only happy experiences or sobbing feelings). The book is a picture of you or …just throw it in the basket already, please!

Let’s take a short break and check writing styles we are still admiring: Famous Authors and Their Writing Style

I hear you!
You aren’t Hemingway or Kafka.
No problems. It is fine.
You are you! Do not hide it. 

Today one of my followers said to me: ‘blah, whatever, I’m just a commoner.’ I refuse to understand this position, because I believe NO ONE IS. We are all philosophers, scientists, poets, creators of the small world around us. And the small world is a part of the big world. By the way if you are a poet you are already a philosopher because I would never separate these 2 words.

Stop Sign: 
There’s one more important thing – how ‘original’ is your work? I find it surprising that some people still do not understand what does ‘original’ means. Yes, we repeat/or steal ideas, plots and feelings over and over again, but I think (and know) that there’re still billions of thoughts/perceptions/views that are waiting for the right moment to get out…

We are living in the Time Of The Darkness, but ‘fiction reveals truth that reality obscures’. Remember, you are the Light! Shine ON!

The End 

The plan for the next week is  – Here
I dropped out of the book ‘Quicksand’, Malin Persson Giolito. It isn’t bad, but not my cup of tea. I decided I have no time to struggle through the book anymore. So you probably will get a review of another book next week. 

Attention: I’ll be on and off most of the autumn here, because of the job and editing of the novel. 


Next post – ‘My life in percents’ writing challenge


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74 Responses

  1. librepaley8 says:

    Hmm yes, was amazed to see the huge number of rave reviews of one particular ‘endless twists’ psychological thriller I read this summer, all based entirely on its plot. The cardboard characters simply were not credible and the writing workmanlike at best.

  2. An excellent observation of readers and writers, Ray. I like the simple fact: If the book doesn’t grab you put it down. 😀

  3. This is why I don’t write “The readers are never kind. Unless they are too kind, like Ray.” If all readers were too kind, like Ray, then I would write 🙂

  4. Great post Ray ! I have to like the characters and something has to draw me in pretty quickly to keep me reading 🙂✒

  5. anne leueen says:

    I could not agree more. It is NOT just about the plot. I got a large tome to read on a flight to Hong Kong once and thought it would do me for the flight.But…. I loathed the writers style of writing. Loathed it. I ended up stuffing it under my seat and sleeping instead.

    • Yes 😂 can imagine that, been in such situation (on flight) too…I guess the writing itself plus heroes & plot draws us to the book the most 🙂

      • anne leueen says:

        I have been a fan of Joan Didion and Susan Sontag because of their style of writing even when the story line has not been my favourite but they carry me along with it. I am currently reading a book that has a wonderfully old fashioned style and it suits the travel journey it is describing so well I am loving it and it is not my usual sort of thing at all.

      • Sometimes we need a change 🙂 and books with a old fashioned writing style is an interesting read (time to time). I’m reading a book about priest & a murder 🙂 simple &…ah, very simple style 🙂 but enjoyable

  6. When I write a book, if it’s factual, it’ll be focused, balanced. If it’s fiction, it’ll be all over the place, but it will make people think.

  7. First things first Ray. Thank you for the (dis?) honourable mention in the post! I am famous now! 💃
    Now about your post…seriously, I totally agree. When I pick up a book by an author I have never read before or heard of before, it is the prelim reading that reels me in.
    And yes, I have abandoned a few books after a couple of chapters because I just could not read further.
    Bye for now. This poet has to philosophise after doing some humdrum household chores. 🤓🤓

  8. psoans says:

    Really great post again. The novel I am working on is probably written in the “Free Indirect Discourse.” Interestingly this is completely different to how I write my blogs.

  9. rpradhanblog says:

    A good post indeed.

  10. A great read, Rayno agree absolutely with your words of inspiration for people who would love to write a story. Thanks for the share.

  11. A.I. Alex says:

    I loved reading this post. And the link to the article Famous Authors and Their Writing Styles was really interesting too. Mind you, there was so much info there I only read part of it so I could quickly come back to your post 😉

  12. Lovely lost ray!…great inspiration for me😊

  13. Fascinating insight, I enjoyed this, will I ever write a book?………. hmm that’s a question I’ve discussed in a post many weeks ago, and well I’m quite content blogging for the now! 🙂

  14. Very good post.

  15. rpradhanblog says:

    A good read.

  16. Beautiful concept there… and the way you’ve explained is pretty brilliant …. I’ve just mentioned about emotional breakdowns in my recent post… I’d be glad to know your views. Here’s the link: http://thesoultalks10.com/three-easy-ways-to-get-out-of-emotional-breakdowns/

  17. I agree: “Ideas are the heart of the book.” The older I get, the more I want to read books (and watch films) that have substance, that reveal something deep and meaningful.

  18. Sorryless says:

    Why DID I insist on reading books I wasn’t that into in the past? You’re right, put the book down and walk away.

  19. Nice post Ray. Fruitful material…keep it up. cm

  20. ..i think that the writer’s objective(s) is what gives his/her book/writings an essence- if any..

  21. Aabby says:

    Thank you for your insight! Helpful

  22. Kim says:

    Great post. Agree. Reblogged on my top 3 post.

  23. floatinggold says:

    Great post, Ray!
    Good luck with work and the novel.

  24. setset27 says:

    An amazing post. We always seem to forget what truly makes good writing, and this post does a great job of explaining it. Please keep the great content coming.

  25. Amazing write up, to be very honest I am trying to come up with a novel and for that I am coming up with short stories and trying to gather reviews on them. This way trying to cope up with honest reviews..

  26. alexraphael says:

    Really perceptive stuff. And great opening quote.

  27. How do you recommend just getting to the end?

  28. Shirobanryu says:

    Hi. Great encouragement. Timely thoughts. Timeless too. To make those words shine…
    ’tis why… We do… what we do. Thanks for the tips.

  1. September 20, 2018

    […] Ray not Bradbury’s article ‘On Writing’ discusses what actually is good writing and why we need to tell our stories. […]

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