Monday, July 15, 2013

Writing Punk

If you’re looking for a specific list of rules to bring out your creativity, you won’t find them here. You won’t the perfect tips for your personality style either. Writing punk requires that you find your individual voice, lest your stories become a knock-offs of your favorite writers. While it may be tempting to look at what your favorite writers do because you like their stories so much, their actual words won’t help you to find a voice. All good writers have an attitude of a personal voice that is so important to punk, to be sure, but to be a punk writer, that voice is essential to its themes. If you’re any like me, you aren’t tapping into your thoughts and emotions about where society is heading and its implications to one’s life; you’re tapping into your thoughts about how to succeed as an individual even if society seems to be ruined already. With such a subtle difference, how do I manage to bring out the themes while I’m writing?

As any writer knows, even copious amounts of notes don’t translate directly to the page when writing the story itself. I never find myself slowly and laboriously with a dictionary or thesaurus trying to find the perfect word. I type the word, and move on. At the same time, these words aren’t picked randomly – I’m ready to type the words as though they were waiting to be uploaded, in order. Despite all this automaticity, I still need to prepare myself mentally. Notes may help in this preparation, but there is more to a mental state than preparing what I want to include any more than I plan how I’ll feel when reading cyberpunk. So, not only do I need to understand in abstract terms what my punk themes are, I need to bring out my emotions on my themes.

The frame of mind I have alters how I write. I’ve written non-punk stories that I’m proud of. As I wrote them, I implicitly asked myself what someone else would do with a different set of beliefs than me. Other times, I’ve written stories where I consider what I would do in a given situation. Over time, I realized this other style was my preference. Later on, I realized this ‘new’ style of mine deserved a unique name, and I found it most consistent with all the punk books I read. In other words, I wrote punk before I even knew what it was, besides just a prefix!

The truth is, the only tip I can give for writing punk is to think about your values and your goals.  

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