My Writing Philosophy & Why Every Writer Needs One
by Cheryl CarpinelloWriting Philosophy? Really? Why do I need one? These are common reactions when I ask writers’ about their writing philosophy. As an educator, my education philosophy defined my beliefs on educating students and how I would accomplish that taking into consideration the different types of learners that would enter my classroom.
As I began my writing career, developing a writing philosophy was an essential and natural step. It defines me as a writer by focusing on how I write, why I write and for whom, and what I write. Equally important, my philosophy serves to focus and guide my writing.
Here’s my Writing Philosophy:
How I Write
I don’t always have time to sit and write. So, I plan and write the first stages of my projects in my head. This may take days, weeks, or months as it did when I was trying to figure out how to tell the story of Sons of the Sphinx.
In next step I rough out an outline of the entire story and then break that into chapters. Once that’s done, I write the first draft straight through not worrying about details in characterization, dialogue, or description. I make notes in the margins to remind me of those later. I always, and I mean always, write out that first draft using pen and paper. I’ve never typed a first draft. Too often that computer screen turns into concrete and the words stay just as written.
Once that first draft is finished, I put it into the computer and make minor revisions as I type. Numerous revisions, additions, and edits follow usually over the course of many months. When I’ve gotten the manuscript where I want it, I send it to a professional editor for another 3 or 4 rounds of editing. When those are done, I can declare the book finished.
Why I Write and for Whom
I write to encourage reluctant readers to read more. This is my main purpose. My Arthurian Tales are aimed at those readers in grades 3-6/7 (ages 9-12). Medieval times is a huge draw for kids at this level, even those who prefer to play electronic games instead of read. If you look at those games, most are set in medieval times. My Ancient Tales are aimed at an older audience: grades 7+(ages 13+) because the ancient worlds appeal to these kids as their exposure to history increases. I do know that both my Medieval and Ancient tales appeal to both age groups, and this is a plus.
What I Write
I use my experience in the classroom to determine what I write. In other words, what I focus on in my stories to engage readers. All of my stories are based on Joseph Campbell’s idea of the Hero’s Journey. The Hero With A Thousand Faces is my Bible when I write. Campbell talks of the journey all of us embark on everyday of our lives: the search for self and worth. According to him, this is not a single journey, but one that is repeated throughout our lives. We face dangers, failures, and successes on each one.
Embedded within all of my characters’ adventures is their quest to find themselves and to explore their place in the world. My target readers are also experiencing this in their lives. However, my books don’t preach or shout this out loud; instead, this journey is couched in an exciting and often dangerous adventure. This type of story offers readers a type of catharsis the old Greek playwrights used: Letting the audience experience the emotions of the characters, while remaining somewhat safe. Those plays also carried individual meaning for each of the audience members and were very popular.
This is a brief glimpse at my Writing Philosophy. Have you defined your philosophy for writing or for what you do?
Sons of the Sphinx by: Cheryl Carpinello
Genres: Pre-Teen/Tween/YA: Paranormal; Coming of Age; Adventure; Historical Fiction
Release date: October 10, 2014
Two souls Separated by three millennium One with a gift that is more like a curse One on an almost impossible quest Destinies entwined; one seeks to find herself while the other seeks his lost queen. To succeed, the pair must right the injustices 3,000 years in the past. Only together can they fulfill The Prophecy, but in the process they must defeat the Pharaoh Horemheb. Dishonor and death are the fate of the defeated.Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3500 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb – who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic – if she is to stay alive to make it back home.
Purchase Links for Sons of the Sphinx
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Cheryl Carpinello is a retired high school English teacher who loves the ancient and medieval worlds. It is because of her teaching career that she has chosen to write stories to encourage reluctant young readers to pick up a book more often. She found that in the classroom, students would read the Arthurian Legend literature when they would read nothing else. This experience led to her Arthurian tales that have now expanded into the ancient worlds.a Rafflecopter giveaway Good luck and happy winning and reading!
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