I love Mark Terry's post today, We're All Liars. My religious beliefs are ... eclectic. But really, it all comes down to the power of belief. I believe in belief and the power it holds.
After Mark Terry's post, I realized how much my religion influences my views of reading, writing, and the industry.
I am constantly seeking patterns. Constantly. You have no idea, LOL. I analyze everything. I come to conclusions about everything. Some of them you've heard before:
- All the bestsellers have impeccable rhythm. They never miss even a microbeat.
- Writers who are published have a confidence with their writing. When you read them, you can feel that they know exactly what they're doing, exactly what the effect of their words is on a reader. They wield their words. They are aware of and use their power.
- A cliche can be used, as long as it's a starting point and it's deepened, explored, emotionalized, and given a "but."
- "Fresh" stories are written with a "but." For example, they give the reader what the reader expects with the knowledge of what the reader expects, but then they throw in a "but" to keep things interesting.
Some of my conclusions are so crazy that I don't share, with the certain knowledge people would roll their eyes. ;-) I also have what I call hypotheses, ideas that I'm still testing:
- A very good story is just as interesting read backwards as it is if read normally.
- A novel is more like a fugue than a sonata.
- Self-promotion is useless, but believing that your self-promotion works actually tends to ... work. It seems. Well. Look at JA Konrath.
- Or maybe self-promotion is useless unless you go all the way and then some.
- Readers are not that picky. Really. I'd say they are about 10% as picky as editors and agents.
Like I said on Mark's blog, I believe in the power of belief. I believe in analyzing and drawing conclusions, even when you're always open to the belief that it's possible there is no rhyme or reason. So, in my religion of the book industry, this is what I believe about pursuing excellence, about pursuing a career in an art:
- The more patterns you can see, the more control you have over taking yourself to the next level.
- There are always patterns.
- Everything they say about an art that's just talent, just creative, just ... whatever, can be analyzed, dissected, and applied.
- The key to improvement is finding the patterns you can't currently see. There's always more. The greatest, in any field, see, understand, and use more patterns than the others in their field.
But, again, just what I believe. Who really knows?
So what patterns do you see? What do you believe? What do you believe without proof? What do you believe, even with more proof to the contrary?