Saturday, June 22, 2013

What Kind Of Writer Are You, Anyways?

There are many ways to describe a garden...or, we could call it finding your Voice...some people may disagree, but there are absolutely right ways to write and wrong ways to write. Perhaps "right" and "wrong" are misnomers. Words you'd be terribly bored by and would never want to read, or find extremely tedious- those are the “wrong” ways to write. Words that pull you in, and make you want to know what's going to happen next, that is the "right" way.

Styles also vary by genre. There seems to be a formula between genres, of how to write about something, because HOW you convey the mood is vital to your reader, not just the subject matter. Understanding these subtleties is important.

I read across all genres. Some people only prefer one or two genres (boring little trolls!) and that's fine.

But here is the truth...if you make something really interesting, and I mean REALLY interesting, you can break as many rules as you want to, and readers will still love you. (I'm not claiming to be able to do this, I'm just stating an opinion I like to call a fact)

Just for fun, I've written several different paragraphs about a garden and a tomato. Each is a different mood, or “genre.” Can you spot the terribly boring, bad, DO NOT DO THIS paragraphs? And it hardly matters what genre they might be lumped into, because they are BAD and WRONG and BORING!!! 

I'd like to think it'd be super easy for anyone to pick out the crap paragraphs, but to my dismay, I've seen stuff written quite similarly in recent works. Amazing writing transcends genre, as does horrible writing. I may not be in the category otherwise known as “Amazing” but I sure as heck know boring when I see it.

(Have fun reading these, for they are meant to be taken with a side helping of salt. Wait. I wasn't intentionally trying to make a pun about putting salt on a fresh sliced tomato....oh never mind!)

~The garden was in front of me. There was a tomato growing in it. The tomato was red. I walked over to it and picked it. It was heavy for a tomato. There was a small spot near the stem. The stem was dark green but the spot was brown. The garden was nice. The tomato will go in a salad later.

~I wasn't sure why the sprawling garden beckoned to me so, until I spotted the ripe, luscious glint of red peeping out from behind the vine. Before I could stop myself the plump fullness of the tomato was pressing itself into in my hand. I shuddered, overwhelmed with my longing to taste its succulent flesh and feel the juices dripping down my chin. I bit down, and moaned with pleasure as the explosion of tangy sweetness erupted on my tastebuds.

~The greenery of the garden was dark and forbidding. The metal spikes of the vine trellis leaned toward me in a vaguely threatening manner, as if to say, do not come closer, there is nothing good here for you. I jumped as the sudden screech of the rusty windmill indicated a fierce wind was rising. The sky loomed over me, full of grays and jagged clouds. A storm was coming in fast, and the dilapidated barn ahead was the only shelter for miles. I ran for it as the first raindrops pelted my face, hearing my mother's warning voice echo in my head as I tugged on the door handle. "Never mistake opportunity for destiny..."

~The tableau was strange to her new eyes, a haphazard tumble of greens, yellows, and reds. There. The brightest orangey-red caught her eye and she made her way towards it. A small spherical shape was growing from a vine as thick as her index finger. “Classification: Food. Edible fruit called a 'toe-may-toe, and sometimes a 'toe-mah-toe,'” chimed the electronic identifier in her ear. “Toe-may-toe. Toe-mah-toe.” She repeated out loud. She touched its skin, smooth and poreless, and utterly foreign.

~Once upon a time, there once grew an enchanted tomato. The legend of her beauty and plumpness had spread far and wide across the land, and many had tried to rescue the beautiful fruit, but alas, it was not to be. The surrounding garden protected the fruit with savage ferocity, thick vines that strangled any man that came too close, and vicious thorns that punctured him unto death. The tomato longed for freedom and had begun to despair of her rescue. “I shall wither on my vine and perish,” she thought. “I shall turn brown and my skin will crack.” As the tomato continued to muse, she began to understand. “If no one can rescue me, I MUST find a way to escape. I must rescue myself!”

~The small boy skipped across the lawn and into the garden where he wandered around for several moments before spotting a tomato that his mother had asked him to bring inside because she was preparing lunch for his father who was coming home early from work to to eat lunch and then he had to drive to the airport to pick up his sister who was flying home from college on her summer break. The airport was almost an hour away from their house and he wanted to go with his father to watch the planes because he thought maybe he wanted to be a pilot when he grew up but also maybe a fireman and he didn't really want to spend more time than necessary with his sister because she always picked on him and it was bad enough she was going to be home for almost 4 months straight so adding the extra hour it would take to get home was not such a great idea after all.

Please write your own version of a garden tomato descriptor in the Comments know you want to! And definitely poke fun at the paragraphs I wrote ;)

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