Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: Who Knew?



My lack of knowledge astounds me every day. In the process of researching for a blog post, I came across the do's and don't's of dialogue. When a character trails off, you use the ellipsis (...) and when a character is cut off by another character, you use the dash (—). 

I’m not sure when I should have learned this bit of information. Did you know that?

Either way, I jumped on the emotional rollercoaster a writer and artist know well. The first thought that came in my head was “Doh!” My self-esteem took a plunge, making my stomach drop and the air to whoosh out of my lungs. How could I be such a doofus? Will people make fun of me?

Once the pity party ended, I realized that it’s ok not to know everything. The fact that the world still holds so much knowledge and information undiscovered by me blew my mind. What a wonderful feeling to know nothing. Look out world, here comes my knowledge hungry curiosity!

What have you learned recently that made you palm smack your forehead?


Get the dish on dialogue over at the Bucks County Writer’s Group blog.

Check out other insecure writer’s at the blog hop

6 comments:

Cherie Reich said...

It's okay not to know everything, and this is coming from a person who tries to know everything. Heh.

I think my most recent palm smack was when I finished reading Les Edgerton's HOOKED. He talks about the inciting incident linked to the story-worthy problem and how everything should build up to this story-worthy problem's conclusion. It's one of those things that writers should know, but the way he put it just made me go "Oh, yeah, duh."

Anna said...

The more you learn, the more there is to know. I'm still learning what I'm trying to say in the manuscript I've been working on for the past year and a half. I'm trying to let the words speak to me rather than putting words in its mouth. So not a technical problem which I've learned to solve, but one of exposition, theme, and ideas.

Donna Shields said...

Mine was just realism in a scene. I thought my villain could just walk on scene without truly thinking, 'Would he really just show up at the funeral?' Yeah, that was a huge DUH moment for me.

I'm still learning right along with you. We will continue learning for the rest of our lives.

Karen Walker said...

Oy! I didn't know that either, but I'm not palm-smacking my head - I'd have no head if a did that every time I learned something I didn't know. So nice to "meet" you Jennifer. Thanks for your thoughtful comment on my blog.
Karen

Alex Villasante said...

yeah, i just learned that when a person trails off it's an ellipse, but when they're interrupted it's a dash...I knew about the ellipse, but not about the dash. I could fill libraries with everything I don't know. I also learned that blogger can be evil. I took off 'word verification' for comments on my blog a while back and now it's back. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

M Pax said...

That's something I learned after I started writing seriously again. So, you're not alone. I recently decided I need to incorporate a study night, where I read a chapter in one of my many books on craft, then practice applying it, even if I think I already know it. It's important that we keep working to improve. So, you're learning this is a great thing IMO. :) Have a great weekend.

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