Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Writing like a Sunset: 3 Ways to Write Distinctively

Taken from my Instagram @eahendryx

Tonight, as per my usual ritual, I went to check the mail. This is common (usually daily) occurance, but the one thing that changes, depending on the time of day, is my view. The sun sets directly in front of me as I walk down the path to the mailboxes and most of the time it is simply spectacular!

As I made my way down the path tonight, a brilliant haze of deep orange painted the sky in front of me. The trees, darkly outlined against the light, reached their knobby fingers to the sky as if to touch the last ounces of warmth this day would feel. It was stunning! Then a thought hit me.
When God creates a beautiful sunset, it is never the same as the day before, nor will it be the same tomorrow.
Each sunset is unique.
Each moment distinctly different than the one before. 

Then, of course, I started thinking about writing. No matter what the sunset is like, it's generally pretty fantastic. The mixing of colors and light always create a haunting glow that reminds us the day is soon to be over. If I were to describe a sunset, each time I would need to portray it differently because no two sunsets are alike. 

Below I outline three ways to write distinctively. There are more than just three, but they just came to mind as I contemplated the sunset. 

Taken from my Instagram @eahendryx

3 Ways to Write Distinctively

1) Don't use cliches
I'll be honest - this is a tough one for me. Sometimes I just want to use a cliche because I feel as if I know that my readers will understand it. As if I couldn't describe it differently for fear they wouldn't really "get it". A good writer will find new and exciting ways to describe the ordinary.

2) Write true to your voice
I just want to shout out, "Be YOU!" but I think a little more direction is needed here ;) No two people are exactly alike. Even twins have differences because they aren't the same person even if they look alike. In the same way, no two writers will write the same. Sure, you may have a similar style to {fill in the blank with your favorite writer} but that doesn't mean you must write just like them. Create your own voice. Find out who YOU are as a writer and exploit that! You have experiences and personality that is completely unique to you and that will add a fantastic flavor to your writing.

3) Always push the envelope
This one is a tricky one. I think you can take this too far and find yourself writing something (fiction or non-fiction) that no one will publish - or read for that matter. What I'm really talking about here is pushing your envelope. This naturally occurs when you are studying your craft, reading fantastic books by authors you admire and respect, and having a second or third or fourth...(well, you get the idea) pair of eyes on your WIP. Maybe that means you challenge yourself to write in a different point of view or to describe a scene you wouldn't normally. The lovely thing about being a writer is that you can always learn and grow.

Taken from my Instagram @eahendryx

What do you think? Is your writing distinct? What would you add to this short list? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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