Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Importance of Communication in Writing (and in real life)

There is one major key in being a writer: good communication. Now, I know that seems like a "duh" point, but let me tell you that it is a key that is often overlooked.

In our world today, true, concise communication is a rarity. We read things & interpret them in a different tone from that in which they were written. Our cell phones break up so we don't always catch the finer details of the conversation. Our lives are so hectic that we miss what the other person said, or we expect them to know what we're thinking. Truth is, we don't.

As a writer, that is a tremendous obstacle to overcome. Let me give you an example. A rough version of my synopsis for Unbreakable Hostage talks about how Lareina sends "them" messages in the hopes of being rescued. Really? Who are they? Who am I talking about? Which characters does this pertain to? What did the reader miss? The reader missed nothing, I wrote that quickly & assumed the reader would figure out which characters I meant. Maybe the people who have seen that synopsis did figure it out. Maybe they didn't. I don't know. What I do know is that I made a big mistake.

Story tellers have to tell you all the details, give you really good descriptions. If I tell you someone walked into a room, your immediate response will be, "well who was it? What did they look like? Why were they there?" And so on. A novel averages about 60,000-ish words, right? Yep. So, with all of those words, wouldn't I really be doing you, the reader, an injustice by not giving you details and descriptions. Who would want to read a short-hand novel or a half-assed novel? No one! That's not a book. That's not good reading. You want to see the locations, picture the character's face(s) and really be there with them. Therefore, it is my duty as a writer to communicate clearly so you can have that experience.

I owe it to you to tell you what these people looked like. You deserve to know their thoughts and actions. What about their environments? What do they see, hear, smell, taste, touch? I need to make that as clear as day so you fully understand what I'm saying.

Haven't we all had bosses or co-workers who weren't clear and they just left us scratching our heads trying to figure out what it was they just said? Haven't we all had some kind of arguement or disagreement because we misunderstood someone? Sure! It happens all the time. We know good, clear communication is key, but it gets lost in the shuffle of our chaotic lives sometimes.

So, remember when you're reading a book just how important it was for that author to convey and communicate all those details to you. And try to integrate that into your every day life, too. Can't hurt, right?


ChainsawChick said...

From what I have read, I think you are very good at communicating. I can't wait to read more!

Chelle Cordero said...

many valid points and so true that we should be as careful in communication in our everyday lives