Monday, May 13, 2013

Formula or Heart?

Formulas have their place. They're valuable in mathematics. Recipes are formulas of another kind. If you want people to eat your cakes, pies, and cookies, following a recipe is a good idea.

What about writing books? Is there a formula for producing something publishable? People can learn how to write. Get the grammar, punctuation, and spelling down. Practice various techniques to achieve a desired effect. Yet this isn't the be all, end all of authorship.

I've read some novels over the years that are technically almost perfect but left me empty. Where's the heart, the author's passion for their story?

While I have many thoughts on this subject, I don't pretend to have all the answers. I depend on the Ultimate Writer (God) to inspire and give me the ability to share via the written word. I'm not saying that He dictates and I write. No, I'm very involved in the process. Yet without this vital step, my words lack the life-changing heart I seek as a reader and a writer.

There's a place for the nuts and bolts of writing, but it should never replace heart.

Writers:  What do you think? Have you ever written something, and it seems to fall flat? How do you keep techniques from replacing your passion for a subject/story?

Readers: What makes a book special to you?

Photo Credit: wito


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. love the new look! Some books we just relate to ... as you say others can leave us cold and disinterested. Same with blogs I guess .. some we stay visiting, others get lost in the mix ...

Cheers Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

Thanks! Traci Little, of Ordinary Inspirations, did the makeover.

Yes, we certainly all have different tastes.

Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Love this layout!!!

Jean Fischer said...

Susan, the blog looks great!

I agree with you that the "nuts and bolts" should never replace heart. I enjoy writers who are willing to set technicality aside if writing "outside the box" makes their story more interesting

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I'm thrilled with Traci's work and her willingness to get it right.

Hi Jean -


I want my work to be alive and fresh. One way to achieve this: staying close to the Lord. After all, He's the source of all creativity.

Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Ooooooh, I love this new design--very pretty and eye-catching!

So much of a writer-reader connection is subjective. I don't like certain topics, no matter how well the writing is done.
One example that comes to mind is The Shack. So many people raved about it that I finally read it. Not my cup of tea.

Thanks for asking!

Chatty Crone said...

I think they have to relate to me and something I am interested in.
Hope you had a GREAT Mother's Day! sandie♥

Karen Lange said...

I've written a lot of "flat" stuff! Some of the time, even though it seems that way to me, my critique partners say it's just fine, so I think some of it has to do with my state of mind. It's funny too, often when I think a blog post is only so-so, it's popular among my readers. Go figure. :)


Melanie N. Brasher said...


Beautiful new site!

Rhonda Schrock said...

You can just 'feel' if someone's not writing from the heart, can't you? The writers are few who can do just that, but add the polish and technical skills in an intelligent way. I'm thinking this is a rare combination. I can think of a few.

Much improved blog look! You're cookin', my friend. :D

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen - Thanks! You're right about personal preferences. I'm actually talking about something that goes beyond genre. It's about producing something that brings life to the words.

Hi Chatty - Thank you! My book is coming out in print this weekend on Amazon. :)

Hi Karen - Yes, sometimes we don't recognize what will touch the reader. I've been surprised many times.

Hi Melanie - Thank you. I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. Traci did a magnificent job.

Hi Rhonda - It's a relief to get my cyber home in order. :)

Yes, you can tell when a writer is not "bleeding on the paper."

Susan :)