The very best description I’ve ever heard for the writer comes from a documentary called “Tales from the Script”, wherein a (screen)writer is described as, “…a megalomaniac with low self-esteem.” When I think about myself – and my work, especially my fiction writing – this description is damn near perfect.
While I didn’t always, I put a tremendous amount of effort into my work, and I look down my nose in disdain at drabblers who think that just because they slap some words together on a page, that makes them a “writer.” Because I create real people, and real worlds (even if they’re fantastic), and real situations that I think should be admired and fawned upon by anyone who happens across them.
Yet, at the slightest criticism that I feel is unfair, I’m ready to punch the criticiser full on in the face.
Both outlooks are admittedly unhealthy…and yet both, I feel, are warranted. Because literature is a form of art. Writing leads to literature, and it should be treated and respected as an art form. But the writer has a responsibility to that art form, just as much as the reader should have respect for the writer. The writer should be cognizant of spelling, grammar, and form. Plot and characterization are necessary tools of the trade, too. And there should be realism, as well. Without this respect for the art, it’s just words on a piece of paper (or a screen).
I’ve likely already lost anyone who stumbled across this site, but that’s who I am: a megalomaniac with low self-esteem.
I’m a writer.
It’s funny, because I’ve had a professor that kept saying to us “Don’t try to be a writer. BE a writer.” So I wasn’t sure if that meant that even just vomiting words on a paper qualifies you as a writer. But then, would I be able to apply that concept to anything else I do? If I scribble, would that qualify me to be an artist? I find myself wondering if writing is becoming a lost art.
I think it’s more like not getting too absorbed in over-thinking it, but just writing. That’s different from someone thinking that “My Immortal” is good fiction.
Sorry, had to Google “My Immortal” to see what you were talking about. So then, just naturally letting the story flow is what they were trying to say without over-complicating it? It makes me think of how the Harry Potter series had so many little details, such as the characters’ personalities matching their astral signs.
Also, I can’t tell if “My Immortal” was a troll-fic or not.