Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG: A "So Sue Me" Kinda Writer...

DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU - IT'S THE EPITOME OF YOUR PERFECTION
-Tammy Theriault maker-uper of slogans
 

I break the rules of writing/being a writer everyday.
I do so many things other writers would cringe about.
 
 
Here, let me show you.
(Steps onto box crate with soap in hand):

I don't write daily. I call my book I'm working on a book, not a WIP because I have a dirty mind & manuscripts are for movies. I write when not burnt out from writing/typing at work, so maybe once a week. I can get 2k words in & call it good like I wrote a whole chapter but find it was half a chapter. I don't like word counts, but chapters, & highlight in my book to see what your word count means in chapter terms.

I've opened a book to remember how to do "proper" dialogue punctuations before. I've Googled the difference between CP & beta readers, but call everyone my beta because like the fish, you tear up my stuff either way. I don't read daily or I'll get tired of it. I read stuff no one here does like about mafia gangs, non-fiction, or the idiots guide to the bible, etc. & not what's "in" unless you tell me to personally. Since I love you guys, I read your books first to fully support your passion.

One time, Jay Noel taught me about all your confusing writer terms through messenger. He popped my writer's jargon cherry...sorry Janet. I still think premise & prose mean the same, & voice is their personality.

I feel like a million bucks when asked to beta because you trust me. I'm a mildly gentle beta reader with suggestions, instead of the "where to improve" only comments. I don't do vague. I put down anything I'm working on even when I'm in the best flow just to focus solely on you because of that trust.  

I read the beginning of "Save the Cat". 3 chapters later-called it a day. Not for me. I like my style because it suits my needs. I believe self help books for writing create the guidelines to use but not the creativity. Books today need more creativity, and writers need to write how they want sometimes & ignore some rules.

I revise before moving on when drafting almost every time I open my doc up; I literally can not just write to the end and THEN revise. I need to re-read 3/4 of the last chapter to get the juices going and back into the mood. I think my stuff sucks and need reaffirmations by one person willing to be my go-to cheerleader. Usually a personal friend.

Critiques suck...admit it. I want the problem fixed now & won't let my book "simmer" because I have no patience & I'm not cooking. Instead, I'll ask my beta if they'll  brainstorm with me, exploring several plot options, and we end up creating something wicked good. It's amazing fun! In fact, every beta person I've done it with really liked the brainstorming technique. No joke. I'll even do it with anyone stuck or just wanting to try it. Hit me up! 


i purposely do not comment in caps, because it slows me down, and would text talk if you'd let me, but u guys wld prob hate tht. I wish someone would write a book in text. Not the LOL or LMBO stuff, just regular text and see how quick the read is.

Lastly, I want to spell okay the original way - ok. Because only through my writers friend do I feel "ok" isn't acceptable. Guess what? I read a book and they said OK. So, I'm back to ok and I'm ok about it, ok? without the caps, too.

(Gets off milk crate and looks at soap) I suppose you'd like me to rinse my mouth out with this soap for all the blasphemous things I said, but I won't.
I guess I'm just a "so sue me" kinda writer...

Your turn...what will you admit to that "breaks the sophisticated writer rules"?


50 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I revise as I go. I always have.

I like beta fish, too.

JoJo said...

I am not a writer, but I do use 'ain't' a lot in my speech and sometimes when I write. I know it's not proper English but I like it.

Suzi said...

Man. I had an awesome comment but it didn't post. Gonna try again.

I used to be an ok girl, but then I started seeing all the okays everywhere, and I bowed to pressure.

It's too late for me, I'm an okay girl now, but you stay strong. Do it for those of us who aren't that brave!

:)

Shell Flower said...

You rebel, you. I notice "rules" broken in very successful books all the time. Being true to yourself and your creativity is way more important than any of the so-called rules. I like your style. It works, so go with it!

Morgan said...

I love the way your brain works, Tammy. :) It's sooooo entertaining knowing you and being your friend. <3

Loni Townsend said...

My brother bought me a beta for Christmas once. It froze on the drive home. :( Thankfully, my beta-readers are sturdier.

I'm okay with you being you, but that doesn't matter. Because you are you, and you're the one who has to like you. :)

SA Larsenッ said...

Manuscripts are for movies.... Gosh, I love that! I think challenging my view on so called 'book I'm working on' might do me some good. Thanks, you rebel!

M.R. R. said...

We should call some writing rules guidelines instead. Keep doing whatever helps you.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Rules are made to be broken and no rule can fox a boring story. Except don't write a boring one. Sometimes the rules are too much of the focus. Creativity is very important. I loved this post Tammy.

The Silver Fox said...

I write "okay," but don't mind when others write "ok." (Magnanimous of me, innit?) It's not like I pronounce "ok" like "awk." I know what was meant.

I don't write "WIP" -- "wip it good?" -- nor do I write "MS" for "manuscript." As far as I'm concerned, MS is a disease that my sister has. No joke.

My basic rules about writing are 1. "Never throw anything away" and 2. "Learn the rules, then feel free to break them."

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

Pat Hatt said...

Rules are for fools, change them up and do what works for you, and more will come due.

Chrys Fey said...

I break the rules all the time. Sometime you have to. Who even made up some of these rules? I'd like to shake him/her! haha We can be rule-breakers together, Tammy. ;)

ilima said...

I love this post so hard. I always revise before moving on in drafting too, and sometimes I'll reread everything I've written to that point...hundreds of pages worth...just because I want to. I'll also spend a month or two on my first chapter before writing the rest. People say to move on and come back later since it will probably have to change anyway but I can't. It's like if I don't have a solid start, I'm gonna fall apart and it will be chapter one's fault. Weird, but that's me.

Melissa said...

I'm a 'whatever works' kind of person. I'll cheer for you, not sue you. ;)

IWSG #151 until Alex culls the list again.

klahanie said...

Hey Tam-bare!

I never use any kind of so-called writerly rules. You know a lot of writers use such overused crap like WIP! I prefer WTF which means, "Writers Trying Fiction."

Tammy, you need to embrace total writing anarchy. It's the way forward! Okay? LOL

Nice one, Tam-bare :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My kids laugh at me because I don't use 'text talk' when I text. I've always been a bit conscious of speaking and writing correctly even before I became a writer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I never let a book simmer. Once I read the end, I dive back into revisions within a day or two. Besides, by the time I reach the end, I've forgotten how it began, so it's as if I let it sit awhile...

Elephant's Child said...

If it works - do it.
And thank you to all writers everywhere who have the inspiration, the courage and the determination (and sometimes the insanity) to continue.

Jay Noel said...

Um, yeah...uh....well....gee.....oh boy.

Andrew Leon said...

Writers should all find their own style, not try to adapt their style to some prescribed method. When you write like that, all books are the same.

That's why "What Time Is the Tea Kettle?"

Sarah Foster said...

I hate how many writing rules exist. It just makes me want to break them, really. I don't ever think about word counts (maybe that's why I always fail at NaNo). I focus more on how many chapters there are, and really just whether or not I wrote everything the story needs.

Carrie Butler said...

We want you to use that soap to bathe with! Gosh...

;) Kidding, kidding.

I totally go back and re-read most of my previous chapter, too. It's the only way I can re-immerse myself.

Denise Covey said...

Love it when you get on your soapbox and talk dirty Tammy. Priceless. And books are evolving for sure. I read a novel recently (yep. I read a lot, might learn something LOL) and realised after awhile that the author hadn't bothered with character descriptions so I had no idea what colour hair, eyes, how they dressed etc. I'm sure it was deliberate, but hey, I do like a bit of info. And then the female characters had boy names like Teddy, so overall, a bit confusing. No wonder I prefer ye ole classics. Writing rules are definitely made to be broken, but unfortunately if you're writing romance for eg, there are certain expectations from both publisher and reader. Wouldn't it be nice just to write our story our way??? Hmm. Let me know if it works...

Denise:)

Carrie-Anne said...

Rules aren't a one size fits all proposition. What works for one writer will be bizarre or stifling for another. I use adverbs, speaking tags beyond said and asked, exclamation points, and other things which I grew up seeing in all the older books I read. The key is to know how to use them well, and not overuse or misuse them.

S.K. Anthony said...

See? You're my kind of wicked rebel! Do it your way man, I know I do. I like to do the brainstorming too when I beta, it's fun. Loved this & your brain, its good stuff, ok? ok!

dolorah said...

I get so tired of "editing" my feedback to proper english because it takes even more time away from reading the story.

I love breaking the rules too. We should all let go and just write like its fun sometimes.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tammy - it sounds like everyone's agreeing with you - write as you want to read, be relaxed .. if it reads comfortably for you, we'll enjoy it too .. good luck and keep going - and gosh rules are definitely meant to be broken! Cheers Hilary

Lynda R Young said...

See, that's why you're a good writer. You know what works for you and won't be swayed. For all the rules I've learned, the best one is that there are no rules.

Al Diaz said...

I'm with you all the way. So funny, I didn't like Save the Cat either. I would definitively eat the cat, if that's ok with you. I've quit the beta reading. I am convinced I suck at beta reading. But I'm a pro with dragon hugs so Dragon Hugs!

Tammy Theriault said...

ALL of you, far and wide, are so amazing and I'm going to hug rush each...after I eat this batch of cookies I made you, I mean, that I made.

Michelle Wallace said...

Go, you rebel writer!
I also revise as I go along.
And I LOVE reading mafia stories!!

Lexa Cain said...

I do some of that stuff too. Every writer has to find their own style, their own way of trying to make it work, their own way forward. Do what you feel is right for you. :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I never write every day - in the middle of a book, I'd write 24 hours if I could. Right now, I've just finished and I'm looking for my next story - which involves a lot of day dreaming and absolutely NO writing.

Leandra Wallace said...

So... already or all ready? ;) Lol! That's awesome that you do things your way- that's the only way to do it. Writing is such an individual thing, and we've all got to do what works for us!

Donna K. Weaver said...

When I critique, I like to share what my thoughts/questions/feelings are as I'm reading a section. I hope that if I'm confused or figuring things out too quickly, it will help the writer know. If that's what they want, great. If not, they can figure out how they want to fix it. I recently critiqued one where I did NOT like the love interest at all. He came across to me as a total jerk. The book's getting ready to come out. I read the new first chapter and LOVE the love interest already. :D

Kristin Smith said...

What a great post! I love that you break the rules when it comes to being a writer. I agree with you! Sometimes we as writers NEED to break those rules!

I've opened up a book before to remind myself of something! I'm not ashamed to admit it... :)

The word I hate the most... alright, or is it all right? Gah! That word gets me every time!

And thanks for your post on my blog—I think I needed a good smack! You inspired me. Seriously. So, thank you! :)

Cherie Reich said...

Language fluctuates and that's okay and ok. I don't write every day either.

Rena said...

I break rules, too. But I also spend an inordinate amount of time learning about them.

When I read Save the Cat, I realized that I naturally plotted my stories in the three act structure--I blame all the movies I watched as a child.

I have no opinion on okay=ok, but it irks me that grey isn't used in the US. Also, what is the difference between towards and toward? I get conflicting messages.

Suze said...

Oh, my GAWD, girl. What a freakin' fantastic post! I have to tell you, read something by or about Bruce Lee. His main thing was that people shouldn't be forced into styles because the highest form of being was self-expression. You fuggin' nailed it, chicken! From your opening quote under the banner to the last sentence.

Love.

Cynthia said...

That was one soapbox talk I actually enjoyed listening to! I see rules broken in books rather frequently, and as long as the author could sell me on what they're doing, that's what matters to me as a reader.

Nicki Elson said...

Well...I guess I'm going to look like the most unsophisticated writer here when I say - what the hell is Save the Cat?

Christine Rains said...

Here, here! Woot! I didn't think much of Save the Cat either. And I don't outline. Ever. I only sum things up afterward to help me make a synopsis because I suck at those. I write wearing flannel pajama bottoms and an old sweatshirt with no bra on. That's about as sophisticated as I get! :)

DMS said...

I am constantly referencing grammar rules as I write because I start to doubt myself (and I am not always right).

The idea of a book in text talk is hilarious. I bet it would be a super fast read. Definitely an interesting thought. :)
~Jess

Brandon Ax said...

First I think it is important to do what makes you successful in your writing. I always have thought guides and such were nice for starters, but at a point you have to figure yourself out.

Great post, I am still chuckling at the WIP part, guess I have a dirty mind too.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Glad you do what works best for you, instead of blindly following rules. The rules keep changing anyway, so you might as well let your creativity soar, and leave the rest to editors.

Julie

Medeia Sharif said...

Wonderful idea. We all have things that work for us. I know that I tend to do the same things over and over again, and they work for me. I look at craft books and blog posts as tips and advice, but not rules. Some of them I've been able to use, while others are not for me.

Bish Denham said...

Okay, the way you work sound so much like the way I work, it's downright spooky. I don't write every day, never have. I actually tend to write in big spurts. But I have been known to go for loooong periods without writing... years even. I used to feel guilty, but I gave that up many, many moons ago.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

You are suck a freaking rebel! I'm okay with whatever you say, ok? Kay, now that we have that settled...writers should find their own style and process

Elizabeth Seckman said...

and be happy with it.

(Prematurely hit post...just like an excited newbie)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Yikes, Tammy, I think we're related. I said yes to everything you wrote. Getting a critique is me saying I don't trust myself, then feeling stupid when my critter finds stuff I missed. Hey, the editor for my first book missed stuff!

I break rules because I owe it to my sons to prove their mama still has it, and they didn't invent breaking the rules! Now, I'm proving it to my grandchildren.