I’m not a Writer, I’m a Translator


Wow, don’t get too upset! I didn’t meant I was changing professions, I’m kinda…sorta happy as a writer (course I would be happier if the money was better, but that is a whole different topic). What I meant is that when I write, I’ve come to think of myself as a translator. Let me explain.


Why a translator? Why would a writer equate himself with that? Well, maybe I am crazy or different or both (I very well could be), but when I write, I am not throwing down words and hoping it works out, I’m describing the scenes I see in my head and trying to translate the visual to the written. It happens with short stories and novels, with almost any writing really. I’ve made it a rule that before I start a novel or short story, I need to have a full movie reel playing up there, constantly showing me the scenes and what happens. Sometimes they change, sometimes a better idea comes along, and that’s fine. But, when it solidifies, when the scenes become too much and I really REALLY want to write, I wait. When the fire to write is gone, then I start my job as a translator. Why wait? Think if you were an actual translator. Do you think it would be easier going to a script or what someone said and translating or doing it as they were saying it? Some might like the under pressure method, but not me. I like to let it simmer. Then I can look at it and finally write it down. And that’s it, I translate those scenes, construct some pretty, pretty sentences, and attempt to transcribe what I see in my head. I think a lot is lost, as in most translations, but if I can put write down just 1% of the awesomeness in my head, then I’m a happy man.



Filed under Writing

5 responses to “I’m not a Writer, I’m a Translator

  1. You aren’t alone. Often everything looks brilliant in my head until I see it on the computer screen. Wonderful blog.

  2. I suppose that writers can be translators. Very good points.

  3. Depending on the length of the work I sometimes have an outline and sometimes write from a brief concept. I do have images in my head for the scenes as I write them but usually only for the scene I am writing.

    As I write the first draft as mostly action and plot then go back and add in detail and imagery I suppose I write like a translator of poetry.

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