Monday, January 12, 2009

All the Parts Make a Whole


I love this word.

Synergy is many parts working together to make something stronger or better.

As a writer, the basic task of putting it down on paper is a solitary one. No one does it for you. Only I can write my story. Only you can write yours.

Still, writing involves the use of many parts, many people. Some of them are fellow writers, but others are friends, family, and even the reader you never meet. All of these things work together to make you a stronger writer, to make you who you are.

There are many roles of these other 'parts' and they include:
  • Listeners. They are very important because they hear the whole process, the idea, and the beginning of your plotting. They endure your rants at the moments you get stuck in the story. They tolerate the fact that the first time you told the story and what you write is completely different.
  • Planners. They help you plot. They point out loop holes and talk you through what kind of motivations your characters have. They point out that maybe, just maybe, that killing someone by extreme boredom is not the most riveting of plot points for your story.
  • Readers. These are your trusted people. They read that horrible first draft, then the second, and every single one you change. They tell you if the story confuses them, or if it even bores them (again, they must be very trusted). They also tell you if they like it (and not just because they know you and like or love you!)
  • Commiserates. These are the ones that celebrate with you, the good (you got a request), the bad (you got rejected for the 50Th time), the ugly, (you forgot to save the crucial chapter 10, when your computer crashes and you lose it...forever).
  • Task Masters. They hold you accountable, they ask you if you've done your word count (Hopefully, not on a day from hell, when your kids are sick, your car blows a tire, and the bill you thought you paid last month, never got mailed). On the flip side, you are their task master too.

There are more people that are involved in your writing, but all of them (even if they don't know each other) all work together to create --you, as a better writer. It is their interest, encouragement, tactful criticism (hopefully), and friendship that gets you through those moments you want to give up.

It is this synergy, that makes me, a writer.

Do you agree with this? What do you think makes you a better writer?


Karen Beeching said...

I definitely agree with this. Contests make me a much better writer. Not only entering (which can help only so much as it's all subjective) but judging contests as well. Putting myself in an editor's position helps me have a better understanding of their job and keeps me from taking future comments so personally. Judging also helps me realize that sometimes the smallest detail(s) can be the difference between a good manuscript and a great manuscript. I always learn something about my own writing when judging contests.

Sherry Werth said...

I totally agree with the power of synergy. Especially when the self-doubt gremlin hops onto your shoulders for a lengthy piggy-back ride.
But when those wonderful working parts (friends, fellow writers and family) come together and form a special circle of synergy around you, just makes it impossible for that little guy to hang on!
Thank you M.V.!

Angel said...

So true!!! I've found all of these at one time or another in my writing journey and I'm eternally grateful for them. Sometimes you find more than one of these in a single person, or a group of people can function as a whole. I love a good plotting party! :)

And you are one great task master, M.V.!!!


M.V.Freeman said...

I think that is awesome that you have judged contests and entered them. What a hard job! (From both ends).

I may try to entery more've inspired me. :)

M.V.Freeman said...

That little gremlin is the hardest thing ever to silence. Its a lot like not having a mute button for commercials...!

Hang in there, and I'm glad you give battle to that little bugger! :) I'm willing to fight it anytime...LOL!

M.V.Freeman said...

I love a good plotting party too! It's like a grab bag, you never know what you are going to get! LOL

And you are a darn fine task master as well, that reminds me, I have some writing to finish tonight. :)