There's always that one person in your life, probably at least somewhat close to you who knows you're a writer. And let's say that you've got a . . . hm . . . four-page essay due very soon. Maybe that one person knows about that too. Maybe you vented to them how much you are not eager to write it. And it's fine, because they're being appropriately sympathetic.
And then these words (or similar words) come out of their mouth:
"But you're a writer, so writing this essay should be easy for you."
Don't those words just tickle your insides? They sure do mine, and not in a good way. Writing a novel and writing an essay are N-O-T the same. Most everyone knows this (those that write at least), but for those of you who are that one person, I'll give you the reasons why.
1. Essay=Business Person: We all know how business people are, always with their nice suits (or pantsuits) and their briefcases filled with official documents. Of course, not all business people are exactly like that, but I'm talking about the ones who are. What's one thing they've got? They're all formal. That is the type of writing an essay is. Formal. You've got to have a certain amount of paragraph with a certain amount of sentences, and a certain content within those sentences. Everything is neat and orderly and has a place where it has no choice but to be. Writing a novel isn't like that. In a novel, a whole paragraph can be nothing but one word of a sentence that finishes in the next paragraph. You aren't told that you have to write about one of these specific topics. In fact, novels don't have topics! They've got scenarios. It can be as long or short as you want, and the style of writing is a lot more free and open. Novels make nests in our souls far easier than an essay can because of this. Novels are somehow more real to us, and the characters have more life because there is no formality.
2. Go Anywhere, Do Anything, Be Anyone: A novel is an escape. A way to go on fantastic adventures without leaving the comfort of your favorite reading spot. Essays don't take you anywhere. They are either convincing, or informing you of something. Essays give you knowledge. Novels give you hope. Those are two completely different things to write about. Equally difficult, I'll admit, but different. I don't know about anyone else, but I find it more enjoyable to write hope than impart knowledge.
3. Characters=Redwoods: Redwood trees are very tall, but they don't start out that way. Once upon a time they were little seedlings. So how did they get so tall? They grew. That's what happens to a character during the course of a story; they grow as people because their circumstances force them to. Essays don't do that. They can't, since they have no characters. What they can do, however, is go in a circle. It's easy to repeat an idea, not so easy to make sure the MC at the beginning of the story is not the same as the MC at the end.
There's more, I'm sure, but this is what I could come up with at the top of my head. Let me know in the comments if you think I'm completely wrong, or if you've got some more reasons I forgot.
Blog to you again Monday! :)
A good chunk of you already know who I am, considering I sent you here, but for those of you people who found my blog by accident, let me introduce myself. My name is Madison Anderson and I was born and spent little more than half my life in Oregon (US for those of you who don't know and don't want to look it up), so it's no wonder I like the rain. I'm obsessed with Disney (bought myself a Woody doll and I'm so happy :) ) and books. I'm now into drawing, and whenever I get around to it I plan on selling my work. You can visit my art page (someday it'll be website) at https://www.facebook.com/randomart17/?ref=bookmarks