June 18, 2011

Don't say it if you don't mean it.

     I heard those words many years ago from my mother. I never thought I would hear them in relation to writing, but oddly enough, it's something I think about often now. I learned to appreciate that phrase a lot more while working with my editor. I love how different she and I looked at things. A lot of the revisions she suggested had nothing to do with what I was trying to portray, because she interpreted what I was saying in a completely different manner than I meant it. That caused me to break down my writing and clarify what I meant. While it's good to leave vague suggestions in writing, sometimes things just need to be said exactly how they are meant.

     This phrase is good to keep in mind with relationships as well. I'd venture to say a lot of complications can come from your partner taking something you said the wrong way. Now when I'm writing and speaking, I reflect back to that little phrase a lot. I'm working on trying to make something exactly what it's supposed to be. 

      At the same time, keep in mind that this issue has been used for the basis of romantic comedy for as long as it has existed. Sit down and watch any episode of George Lopez, and you're sure to see him trying to say something nice to his wife while she gets offended because she perceived it quite the opposite of the way he meant.

     Have you ever said or wrote something that came off the wrong way?


  1. All the time... without people reading my work and pointing out my flaws, I would be in a bad way.
    I think it stems from the way my mind works, and the way I tend to use logic compared to a normal person. What I think is obvious and simple commonsense, tends to be slightly more complicated to someone else…. And conversely, something that I feel is complicated and laborious I end up spending too much time elaborating on, and in the end its simple and common knowledge.

  2. well here is a few more words thats meant to be said my dear.. I am so proud of you!! There is nothing you can't accomplish when you set your head to it. The book is wonderful! and so are you!

  3. Jeff - I know what you mean! It only adds to the confusion that so much communication no longer has a tone of voice as well, with computers and texting, etc.

    and... thanks mom :)

  4. This post reminds me of that episode of Three's Company. The one where there was that misunderstanding, remember that one? :-)

    In all seriousness, I'm both nervous and excited about my current W.I.P. being read and critiqued by beta readers. I'm excited because I like the world and story I'm creating, but nervous because I don't know if the vision of what I want the book to be like will match the actuality of what the beta readers see in my book.

  5. Hah! Three's Company, believe it or not, I do remember that. Nick@Nite...

    When my novel was with my beta readers, I believe I wrote a post on how I was about to go bald and have no fingernails left. It's nerve wracking! Just keep in mind that once you've written it all out, it can only get better from there.