Technical people abound in our society. I happened to pick out a Tech Writer as an example because I are one. Hehehe. If you can talk to someone coherently, you can write fiction. After all, you’ve been talking almost forever, right?
Do you explain things to someone else? Do you talk for a living? Do you do anything which requires following a process, procedure or methodology?
Probably you do. Examples:
- System Analyst
- Network Administrator
- Retail salesman
- Ditch digger
Any one of these vocations can be the basis for a decent fiction writer. Why? Because if you can talk and follow a process, you can write (by the way, this includes non-fiction). It just so happens I believe a Tech Writer has more tools already.
Good writing is talking. How often have you read a story and felt the author was talking directly to you? You were in the story. If you can talk, you can write. It’s all in the process.
You’ve been talking almost all your life. You may have a Bronx accent, an English accent, a Middle-American accent or whatever, but other people usually can understand you.
If you happen to be in a technical area, chances are you can run a word processor fairly well. That will help when you’re writing, because you’ll have little attention on using the tool.
Can’t use a computer or word processor worth crap? Well, you can still talk, can’t you? You can dictate the stuff and have someone transcribe it.
My “boss” whom I’ve been associated with for over 20 years can’t write his way out of a wet paper bag – he seems to end every other sentence with a prepositional phrase. On the other hand, he can take something he knows and explain it verbally with no hesitations, in the proper sequence and elegantly. If he were to “write” a book, I’d recommend he dictate it.
The process is the same either way. No matter what vocation you have, you can talk. If you can talk, you can write.
Didn’t do too well in your required “creative writing” class in high school (or middle school)? Great! That means there’s less for you to unlearn.
Again, if you follow processes or procedures in your vocation and you can talk, you can write.
So your exercise for this post is:
- Write down the vocations/jobs you’ve had (and hopefully you’ve still got one that’s earning you income).
- List several processes or procedures you’ve had to follow to do your work properly.
- Can you run a word processor? We’re not talking making long technical manuals with fancy footers, headers, etc., just can you type on the computer reasonably well?
- Do you talk with others? Do you share information? Do or did you teach, instruct or explain things?
- How many years have you been doing this talking?
- Have you ever had the desire to write a novel?
Leave us a comment -- how does your current vocation help or hinder your talking with other people?