Gaga's Got Good Writing Advice
Created By: Emilia Plater
I'm a sixteen-year-old aspiring writer, so you can trust me on this one: I'm not having sex. According to most focus groups, I'm way too young and tragically unwanted to have it. Seriously, I don't even know what sex is. (Something involving cabbages?) But when I came across this quote by the freaky-awesome Lady Gaga, I was inspired anyway.
When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time.
Wait, what's a condom? Is that the same thing as a condiment? It doesn't matter. I like the "mind-blowing, irresponsible" part. Because that's what writing is.
Man, that's all it is.
There are a ton of great pieces of writing advice floating around out there. "Kill your darlings." "Slaughter your adverbs." "Stop telling and start showing, or you will be assassinated." I mean, this is a violent hobby, no doubt about it. But I think sometimes, we writers forget to acknowledge the fluorescent magma core of what we do.
That's the mind-blowing part. The irresponsible part. The fun part. (Not saying sex is fun. Again, I have no idea what it is.)
You can argue about the importance of a) plot versus b) technical skill versus c) the presence of unicorns in a book all you want. But an awesome idea - a vision, a belief, a purpose - will rock the house harder than any of those things ever could. (Okay, maybe the presence of unicorns is an awesome idea on its own.) All novels, whether literary or commercial, YA or adult, vampire or zombie, deserve to be backed up with an idea like that. That is really your job.
Because what makes an idea awesome? You.
Exhibit A: Would Twilight have sold with such animalistic fervor if Stephenie Meyer hadn't thrown her hands up and thought: "I dreamt about a super hot vampire who sparkles, and now I'm going to write about how sparkly vampire love conquers all, DAMNIT!" NO.
Exhibit B: Would Animal Farm be the timelessly creepy classic it is today if George Orwell hadn't thrown his hands up and thought: "I'm really pissed at the corrupted communists in Russia, and now I'm going to slam those guys using pigs and goats and crap as metaphors, DAMNIT!" NO.
Exhibit C: Would The Fountainhead have elicited various emotions in the millions of people it did if Ayn Rand hadn't thrown her hands up and thought: "I freakin' love this Objectivism thing I came up with, and now I'm going to immortalize the perfect ginger man in a 700-page exercise weight, DAMNIT!" NO.
If you have an idea, or a seedling of an idea, or an idea that's been rattling around in your head for years, engage it. Worship it. Feel it, see it, know it. Follow Miss Gaga's lead and just dance with it. Then, once you start writing, go ahead and seduce it. Do nasty things to it... in a good, family-friendly way.
Or not. What's the best big-picture writing advice you've ever heard?