Writing and Life: Can I Make Rocky Road Out of Vanilla?

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Okay, I take back the comment on my previous blog about being undeniably weird. I am still weird, however my circle of reference is quite small.

My family took a trip downtown this past weekend. (Note that I have a baby and a semi-grown toddler. We don’t get out much) We came across adults dressed as fairies, young men with waist length dread locks, youngin’s dressed in next to nothing and feeling fine, and generally a group consisting of eclectic Midwesterners.

This makes me feel quite vanilla. That and my first critique on the first 800 words of Within The Cleansing Fire from people other than my family or friends. Which I might add, critiques from them keep me going and make me proud that I’m not too afraid for the public to read my amateur story-telling.

Ouch. Burn. Bleh. I instantly began reading a new novel brought to my attention that has a similar plot. Dead person POV. Wait!! That was my idea! I have read hundreds of books in a limited genre range. I knew there were hundreds of thousands of books in my genre, I just didn’t think it was so similar. Nor did I realize how bland and vanilla my writing was!

So, this kept me up all night wondering. How do I make my vanilla writing into something capable of capturing the audience’s attention. I want the texture, excitement and craving that rocky road provides.

I wouldn’t say my life has been perfectly vanilla. I have emotions and situations to pull from, but in no way am I as different and mysterious as the fellows that frequent downtown after dark. I’m well educated, but spent little time in the English department in college. Reading books and forums is about as educated in writing as I will get these days.

I would say yes, I can most definitely make rocky road from vanilla. I just need to add in a dash of experience, a smidge of humbleness and a handful of approval to get there.

I see members of my family and friends take criticism and failure only to get back up again and continue on. I can too. I may never get published, and that’s okay. I’ll have my vanilla and rocky road stories to keep me company and entertain my friends when they need a good laugh.

-Donna

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