December 5, 2013

Writing Tools

Dear M,

In writer circles, there is often a recurring talk about writing tools - tools that help you write, that offer word or grammar suggestions, or quickly calculate word count, etc. So many of them. Some even go so far as to give you plot modification ideas, character development tips, hints to get past writer's block, and so forth. And when you hear of each tool, you are tempted to download or purchase those and take a look. I don't deny that these could be interesting and even at times useful, however I believe that none of them can help if the innate talent (and the sharpened skill) isn't good enough. Whatever we have created can be made better or enhanced, perhaps, but the initial creation has to take birth in the human heart!

Agreed that I haven't used any of those writing tools (except the basic stuff offered by MS Word). But somehow the thought does not excite me. If my plot isn't impressive enough, then no tool can fix it, right? If the story were a mathematical problem and the tool could offer a perfect Einsteinian formula to solve it, I would have pounced on it, and no questions asked.

That's the issue with creativity - you could make the most mundane thing look gorgeous with a choice of colours, words or music. There isn't even a right or impeccable way to do it. Three different artists could create three different versions of the same mundane Slice of Life, and all three could be out of this world.

If these tools recommend methods to make your story more attractive, I doubt if it will really be attractive. Would you sleep well knowing that the idea wasn't, in all honesty, yours?

I insist that nothing can match (or excel) inborn creativity - whatever we do would only nurture it, develop it, grow it into a vast tree of... okay, I think I am getting a little carried away now.


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