Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Art of Writing by Margo Bond Collins

We are thrilled to have a new author to Aspiring Romance Writers, please welcome Margo Bond Collins 

 Henriette - A Girl Writing; The Pet Goldfinch

I know that a lot of authors talk about “the art of writing.” And there is absolutely an element of the artistic to writing—it’s a creative endeavor that takes imagination and invention. It can be inspired and original. It can absolutely soar to the heights of “Art.”

But for the most part, I don’t often reach those heights. In fact, I don’t even aim for them. I know many writers who do, and I admire them. But I tend to be much more pragmatic in my own aims—I want to tell stories that readers want to read. I don’t care if what I produce is Art-with-a-capital-A. I care if what I produce is a story that grabs my readers, pulls them into the worlds I create, keeps them coming back for more.

Because of this, I am much more likely to concern myself with the craft of writing than with the art of writing. I know it’s a minor distinction, but it’s an important one to me. I know that in my own everyday work, there’s a good chance that I would completely freeze up if I were told I needed to produce Art.

So instead, I focus on my trade—storytelling. And more than that, storytelling in genre fiction. I do some mash-up genres: paranormal mystery, romance mystery, paranormal romance—and that means that I need to know the conventions of a number of different genres. I spend almost as much time analyzing other people’s fiction as I do writing my own. I read for character and plot, for phrasing and stylistic elements. In fact, I think that the best thing any writer can do is read in his or her chosen genre(s).

Another important thing a writer can do is learn the technical elements of writing; know how to craft a sentence without grammatical errors, a paragraph with a main idea, a chapter with a strong opening and a closing that keeps the reader reading. Learn how to proofread carefully, how to edit one’s own work (it’s hard to cut the words that seemed perfect at the time, but it’s important to learn how to do it!).

And once these things are in place, don’t stop learning! In my other life, I teach college-level writing, and one of the things that I often tell my students is that it’s not possible (or at the very least, not advisable) to try to violate the rules of writing unless and until one has a strong grasp of them. So that means continually working to improve—in one’s understanding of the structure of fiction, in storytelling, in sentence structure, in word choice, in proofreading, in editing.

Because ultimately, the only way to Art is through craft.
Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin


When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?


Genre: Paranormal Mystery

No comments:

Post a Comment