It is often said that to improve in a certain task, rather than to influence our mistakes, we must try to highlight our virtues. If we make the most of our strengths, reinforcing them even more, little by little, those qualities will be what defines our style as writers.
As for the weak points, it is not about forgetting them, but they will gradually improve by force to work and above all, practice, a lot of practice.
However, from time to time, it is convenient to stop and think if we have not derailed. Perhaps we are so deeply involved in our writing that, when sitting on paper or in front of the computer, we are not able to see our own shortcomings.
Without all those who are there, we detail here, with some humor, four of the defects that characterize the beginning writers.
1-The text is not understood: the writer of hieroglyphics.
One of the most frequent mistakes among those who start in creative writing occurs when the writer writes for himself. It may or may not have a good story in the head, sometimes it’s not even a story, it’s just ideas, feelings or something that you want to put on paper. She sits down to write and isolates herself from the world, so much so that it is as if she were only writing for herself and forgets that the literary text is meant to be read: the reader is forgotten. When someone reads these kinds of texts, his face looks more like a question mark than the image of entertainment or enjoyment. We could say that he is a hieroglyphic writer.
This type of texts, to be able to understand them, often need the writer to explain exactly what he meant by this or that phrase or what a particular metaphor means. As we do with many contemporary works of art, we look at them, turn our heads from one side to the other, approach them to see them in more detail, take a few steps backward, but we do not understand anything. For us, there are only cigarette butts in an ashtray or a pile of candy on the floor. But then a scholar tells us that in reality, the artist wanted to represent this or that, and it seems that everything is clarified. Without underestimating the value of contemporary art in general, literature needs more than sensations: it needs to be understood by the reader.
However, we should not underestimate the artistic qualities of this type of writers. Often what happens is that, perhaps because they are very intelligent people, without realizing it, they tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the world and, therefore, from most readers of stories and novels. Do not confuse writing for a cultured reader with writing in an encrypted form. As in advertising, regardless of the language used, if the message does not arrive, it is not a good job.
2-Excess of rhetoric: the pedantic writer.
This error is also very frequent among beginning writers. Who else and who less, in its beginnings, has begun writing with a rhetorical language and lacking in naturalness. It seems that the more elaborate the words than employees, the more metaphors and rhetorical figures we put into the same paragraph, the better. The quality of a text, however, does not depend on that.
Unfortunately, some schools of writers, less and less, fortunately, continue to educate in the belief that creative writing has to be something rhetorical as if we should write as the writers of the last century did. In this way, it is inevitable, the naturalness goes down the drain and the text does not transmit, does not arrive, does not excite the reader who decides that the best thing to do in these cases is to pull the chain: close the book and not follow the reading.
Does this mean that we can not use literary figures? Not at all. But we should not abuse them and we should always use them as a way to enrich the text, not to make it “sound” more pompous, that is, not as mere appearance.
3-There is no story: the inexperienced writer.
This would be the case of a writer who can have a lot of imagination, write fluently, can even have an interesting style, but when we finish reading the text, we realize that there is no story in it: it is just a series of reflections or thoughts, sometimes even only contains a description. What is the problem? The lack of technique. A story is not a single written text. For there to be history there must be a narrative: telling things. In the words of Alberto Paredes in The Voices of the Story: ” An essential concept in all narrative aesthetic production is that events happen. They pass things to people “. Yes, that’s what it’s about, that things happen to the characters. Every narrative text must also have a structure: its approach, its knot, and its outcome. Every character must undergo a change. Whether it is a story or a novel, creative writing requires the mastery of a certain technique. As in architecture, everything has its form and function. That is why writing courses and workshops are always recommended for beginning writers, such as those offered by the Creative Writing School, which provide them in a short time with the necessary technique to improve their writing quickly.
4-Unpolished text: the lazy writer.
In section, there would be those texts that, unlike in the previous case, do contain a story, but, after its transformation into a written text, it has not been revised correctly by the writer, with which, from time to time, errors appear that cause the reader to lose interest. Many of these mistakes can be quite silly, some are easy to solve, but the writer has been too lazy and has terminated it without subjecting it to an exhaustive process of revision and correction. The flaws that we can find in this type of text range from errors of style, such as cacophonies or the use of a vocabulary not suited to the voice of the character, to plot errors, such as encountering contradictions, for example, that a character change your name Other errors can be more serious, such as those related to the organization of the plot that leads to a result similar to the texts of the hieroglyphic writers, that is, they are not understood. We must not forget that to be a writer is above all to rewrite.