Cole's Corner: The Secret to Writing

Cole's Corner: The Secret to Writing

People often ask me what it takes to be a writer. They would love to be a game reviewer or game journalist. Imagine doing what you love and making a living sharing your ideas with others through the printed (or online) word. What's the secret? I'll tell you the secret.

Of course it takes education to become a writer; that's the technical stuff. But then there's this intangible quality I will discuss. Allow me to demonstrate. Scroll to the end of this article, where you will be looking into my future. Do it now. You can see the end of my article, but as I'm typing these words, I see no further than this period. Because I haven't finished the article yet. I'm only on these words right now, those paragraphs below don't exist yet.

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You can see my future while I'm communicating with you from the past, but in the medium of the printed word , it seems as though we exist together in real time. I could be dead for all you know, (and I'm sure that would delight a few people.) Look, I'm speaking to you from the dead! I know where you live. I have your IP address. Don't stare into the darkness at night, I will be there.

So that's what it takes to be a writer. Did you catch that? It's simple. It's using your imagination. Just pointing out something weird, or odd, or absurd, or bizarre, or funny, or strange, or irreverent, or annoying interacts with other peoples' imaginations.

In many ways, writing is the ability to see things from a different point of view and put those thoughts into words. Anyone can take a course in grammar and journalism, but not everyone can unleash their imaginations. I say unleash, because we all have one, it's just that some of us are untrained or terrified to access it. I believe it's the fear of rejection that inhibits creativity. But trust me, you get used to rejection. It makes you better. You're going to be criticized. This also makes you better.

Every video game you play is the product of someone's imagination, and ultimately many peoples' imaginations as they collaborate on the various elements. A game that gets everything right becomes a classic. The graphics, the gameplay, the mechanics, the music, and the story come together in such a way that it feels like it's taking place in real time. These developers have paid their dues to get where they are. They've taken lots of criticism. And, as a game journalist, you can be the one dishing out the criticizing—or accolades, if warranted.

If you want to be a writer, start writing. Go online and check out some grammar basics and get on with it. Email some gaming websites and offer to review or preview games for free. The knowledge you gain from the editor as he or she corrects your work will be invaluable. Don't ever be discouraged, you'll learn it eventually. Keep in mind that what you have to offer is priceless, and "in your mind" is where it's kept. The priceless commodity you are selling is your imagination. Use it, and you'll never lose it. Although many would argue I lost my mind a long time ago.

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Writing is all about looking at things differently. Take existing concepts and play around with them. You don't have to reinvent the wheel; just put a different "spin" on things.

You can skip that paragraph below; you've been there already.

This is the end of the article. If this is your first time here, get back to the middle of the second paragraph and start reading. It will all make sense.

Cole Smith
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: May 11, 2012

*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*

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