You have seen this haven’t you?
A martial arts movie where the student is looking for a master.
Well, let me back up.
First, the student has to either: 1) lose a master who was killed by a great villain or 2) get the shellacking beat of them by the villain and now the student wants revenge. In either case, the student ends up finding a master of kung fu with a fighting style that is fresh and unique.
Stunned at the Masters amazing skills, the student submits to the teachings and raw training in order to become better. Then the student is placed into the monstrous training schedule where at first, they will stumble. Get hurt. Lose sleep. Yet the urge for revenge is so strong that this pulls them to go through the training to become more.
Next, the student has a chance to show their skills (e.g. a group of thugs out of control) and beat the snot out of them with their new skill set.
The student realizes that they are ready to face the villain and leaves the Master. The student tracks the villain down and engages in a epic battle. The villain is impressed with the new upstarts skill.
Eventually the hero will unleash a super duper snooper special technique that kills the villain and the hero is left standing to fight a new day.
The hero will unleash a super duper snooper special technique that kills the villain and the hero is left standing to fight a new day.
Now, why did I go through all of this summary?
You are the student of writing. You need to find a mentor. Who do you trust? Where do you go? Who do you learn from?
Just how the student in kung-fu films won’t learn from any Joe Schmoe, you need to be very careful on whom you learn from in the sacred art of Write Fu.
Here are 4 probing questions on choosing your own Grand Master to learn from:
- Experience: How long has the author been writing? How many works do they have under their belt? What sort of track record do they have? Do they blog frequently or sporadically?
- Results: Are they producing high quality work that you can learn from? What are the testimonials of those who read they work? Do the testimonials glow with praise? Do only two readers adore them or have they been reviewed by many readers with positive praise?
- Credibility: What are the author’s credentials? Do they have a degree? (*) Who vouch for them? Are there well-known authors who endorse them? – (*) Side note: A college degree does not necessary mean success yet this can help if this criteria is important to you.
- Strengths: Does the author do something extremely well that you want to learn from them? Prose? Characterization? Concept? Voice?
So what about you?
Who are the writing mentors you have relied on? How have they helped you in developing your craft?
P.S. What’s your favorite martial art movie and why?