Monday, February 17, 2014

~ Write From the Heart ~

The book you write will change      
YOUR life.
                                                                     -    Joanna Penn

While at a writer's conference a few months ago, someone asked the question of the panel of agents and editors,"What do you see as the next big trend? We've had vampires and zombies, what's next?"

The agent who answered, knew exactly what the questioner was asking and she responded truthfully.
To paraphrase, she said something along the lines of "I don't have a crystal ball. No one knows what will capture the imagination of the public and cause a wildfire to spread in the publishing industry. But if you're looking for an inside tip so that you can write a story based on what you think the next big trend will're playing a losing game." I say...

Write from the heart

That is the only way to write. Now...if you just so happen to LOVE vampires and zombies and Dystopic worlds (think Hunger Games) ...great. Write your little heart out and in this very moment the market will love you for it. But for the rest of us it's a huge mistake to force a story, simply to catch a ride on the coattails of the latest whim in the publishing industry. 

Write from the heart  

Your story is your voice, and your voice is unique. No one else can tell your story like you can. Embrace it. Believe it. Trust it. And don't worry about writing the next '50 Shades of Gray'.   

When you write simply because you MUST write, because the thought of not writing hurts too much, then you are listening to your heart. And whether or not you become the next JK Rowling or Stephanie Myers matters not in the long run; for the book you write WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. But only if, you...

Write from the heart. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

~ The Art of Editing in the Rain ~

'Kill your darlings, kill your darlings; even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings.'
                                                     -Stephen King

Why that title for this post? I just love the sound of the words. I stole them from 'The Art of Racing in the Rain' by Garth Stein. ( a fabulous book, written by a dog) It's not plagiarism if you admit to stealing, is it? But once I borrowed the title I thought I would just continue with the theme of race car driving and merge
 ( see what I did there?) it into my thoughts on editing.

Whether racing or editing there are some similar things to watch out for:

When to let off the gas
When to go full steam ahead
Watch out for those tricky corners
Keep the Finish Line in sight

The hardest thing to come to terms with is: 'What to purge what to keep??? But as Stephen King so delicately put it above, sometimes you have to be ruthless. Case in point, I had several beautiful pages that were drop dead good and I was IN LOVE with those words. But come to find out.....they didn't actually belong in this book. I was shocked to find that out. And as much as it hurt my little fingers to press the 'delete' button, I had to do it. So the words I loved fell from the pages onto the cutting room floor. But I carefully swept them up, and I will use them somewhere else where they were meant to shine. 

As long as I'm still editing, the story continues and my characters live.The hardest part is knowing when you're done. If I'm editing I am still in contact with my characters, and the truth is I don't want to say good-bye. So for now we are still visiting daily, I am not yet ready to close the book and send them away. But soon, very soon.