This question seems to have been around since God carved the commandments in stone. I’m sure some Israelites argued about why he wrote in second person with the implied “you” at the beginning of each one.
I know I’ve searched for the right way to write since I began this journey almost twelve years ago. And I’ve discussed it with writing partners and critique groups along the way.
One thing I’ve learned: There is no one way to write right. There are numerous ways to write better but writing right is an individual choice dictated by personality and temperament. And right writing is also dictated by the story.
Some questions naturally flow from wanting to know what is the right way to write.
What genre should I write in?
Should I write present tense or past tense? If I’m writing science fiction, should it be in future tense?
Should I outline or write organically?
Should I write fiction or non-fiction?
There’s a trend in these questions. And the answer: it depends.
It depends on the story we want to tell. We have to make decisions about the best way to tell it. Some ways may work better than others but that depends on what the story is about, how controversial it might be.
Sometimes, fiction is a better way to explore tough subjects. We have more freedom in using our characters rather than real people to explore topics that might be a difficult read in non-fiction.
Focus on the story that’s burning in our hearts, that’s consuming our thoughts. Write it in the way that is most comfortable. Increase our knowledge of the craft and rewrite it.
It’s our story. Only we can tell it the way it needs to be told. Our obligation is to become the best writer we can.
That’s the way to write right.