Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You might be a writer if...

Have you ever asked the question, "Yes, but...what do they really mean?"

Everybody has asked that at least once, right?

But, do you find yourself asking it a lot? Wondering what the true meaning is behind any conversation? Certain there must be a hidden meaning, if only you could find it?

You might be a writer if...you think everyone speaks in code.

At first, I thought this side effect of writing stemmed from the hazardous amount of rejection we writers expose ourselves to. Example: promising rejection letters that include a phrase or two about how the writer could make the manuscript better. They are so heartening. They mean, we are sooooooo close. But then, how close? And how could I really make it better? And why, suddenly, do the well-meaning editor's words seem like a code?

And then I'm off on a tangent dissecting, resectioning, imbueing, inferring, laboring without pause to get to what the editor really meant. Because it's hidden in there somewhere. It can't possibly be on the surface for all to see.

Because what my characters say never is. How could it be. Readers would never stand for it. They don't want idle chitchat. Fillers. Uh's and um's. Beating around the bush. They want code. They want puzzles. They want to get lost in a story and have to do some deciphering. They want a little fun! So we authors stylize, hide, weigh, infer, encode. We encode! Because everyone is doing it.

I think.


Oh, what do they really mean?


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

If you figure it out, you have to let us know.

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