Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I Know about Craft

What do I know about Craft?

            Firstly, it is relative to the society you are in, the language used, the tone, the setting, and more.  It is malleable, context is fundamental.  And at times, it is based on how much acclaim and trust you have gained as a writer.  However, it is not completely subjective.  In fact, it isn’t at all.  You must have experience and knowledge to hone your own craft.  And you must understand the rules of the language you are working with and the society you are producing to (and the specific audience).  And you must see where others have failed and succeeded in order for your ideal style to shine.  And when it’s truly shining, even external forces like corporate mandates and editorial meddling won’t be able to shake it away (unless they want to create something entirely different). 

Now, I can talk all that talk, but where am I when it comes to my own craft?  I’m still forming it.  I have a lot of consumer experience with numerous storytelling mediums, from older ones like “spoken word”, to newer ones like video games.  I even have my own literary theories and writing theories.  However, my writing experiences have been few and mixed.  I do know my two biggest weaknesses currently.  I am a very, very sloppy writer, mostly because I work within a “planned stream of consciousness.”  I plot out my work, and then in one big swing, I write it all.  When I say all, I mean either a chapter or a short story.  This has had numerous results, but the most often one is just sloppy punctuation and grammar.  The bad habits of the way I talk show up in my writing at times.  My other weakness is one born from my work in other mediums.  I write in the comic book format as well, which is way sparser on details.  Details are fundamental to prose.  I get caught “screenwriting” pretty often.

My strengths come from my background in comics and video games as well.  I write pretty good fight scenes from what I’ve been told, and when my dialogue isn’t on the nose, it can be rather entertaining.  I’m also a big idea guy.  Zany concepts, deconstructions, and alternative perspectives are a big thing for me.  I just need the details to catch up with me to make it all work.  I can write a lot as well, when motivated to (like if there’s a time limit).  However, I want to change that because it’s affected me in the past numerous times, especially on final papers.  I like writing short stories, but I want to get into short novels and novels as well.  I like to write comics, but screenwriting doesn’t sound too bad either.  Neither does video game writing.  I don’t have a genre preference; I’ve just been leaning towards more action oriented genres as of late.     

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