Writing (3)

The description of my writing process does not address the foundation of publishable writing. It is made up of two elements: knowledge of the craft and wide reading.

To write fiction, one must have mastered grammar, spelling, formatting, copy editing, sentence wording and structure, and dialogue. My class in fiction craftsmanship stresses the importance of these frankly boring practices. Until they are second nature and followed automatically, the resulting writing will not be publishable.

Continuous and wide reading is also essential. It exposes the mind to the writing of those already proficient in the discipline. It widens knowledge of writing techniques and methodology, sparks the imagination, incites the mind.

I read a great variety of books because I am a book reviewer. That leads me to volumes  I never would have discovered on my own and writers so different from me that I have to work to understand their writing style. In the process, I learn how they do it. I learn how to do it myself.

In my classes, I stress to other writers that the writing discipline is an unending learning process. I’ve been reading and writing all my life, but I’m still learning. So will any other writer who takes his work seriously.

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