Thirteen Strange Truths and Neurotic Whisperings About Writing
The winner of the last Thursday Thirteen contest, thanks to random.org, is Commenter #21, Liz Wolfe. (Yes, I know that last time random.org selected #21. Kinda fishy, huh? But I swear, that’s what it said!) Will you please email me your address if I forget to email you, and I’ll send you Cherry Addair’s Edge of Darkness? Or I’m sure we’ll chat soon ...
This week’s book-to-win is Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. To win, just leave a comment. I bought a copy the other week, and when I finally finished unpacking my books from RWA, discovered I had an ARC. (That’s when DH declared I was not allowed to buy any more books until January. Yikes!) I’ll send you the ARC, because it comes with the cutest little packet of garden seeds!
On to the Strange Truths and Neurotic Whisperings of this Writer ...
- Strange Truth #1: The more you’ve polished and crafted a book, the more you think it’s one of your most well-written works, the less reader reaction you get.
- Neurotic Whisperings: Oh shit, I worked really hard on this story, I think improved on this one, I tried this, this and that, and I was sure I improved, so ... does that mean this is going to be a flop? A bore? Maybe I should make sure I hate it, force myself to hate it, so that the rule of opposites will kick in? Yikes! I shouldn’t admit I love this story ... will that curse it?
- Strange Truth #2: On the other hand, the more you hate and feel a work sucks, the more readers seem to like it.
- Neurotic Whisperings: But, really, I loved this story before. Halfway through I thought this was one of my best stories, so does that mean it’s going to fall under strange truth #1 or will it be under strange truth #2? Must hate it more ...
- Strange Truth #3: The tiniest niggle in your brain about your work, the tiniest little, seemingly minor issue you decide is not really a problem, will be a BIG, OBVIOUS thing to a reader or editor.
- Neurotic Whisperings: But it’s just a tiny thing. Readers are going to read so fast they won’t even notice it. Maybe this is just my perfectionism surfacing this time, maybe it’s nothing ...
- Strange Truth #4: Fixing those niggles always makes it better.
- Neurotic Whisperings: Ohmigawd, what if I change the story and the story gets worse? What if taking out this part or adding in this part ruins the pacing and the flow?
- Strange Truth #5: Blog friends are always right when they point out that you seem to be explaining away a niggle, and are right when they gently suggest that perhaps you should consider fixing it.
- Happy Whisper: (Edie, I always smile and think of you whenever I write the word ’happy.’ I swear, it cracks me up. You’re infectious!) I get to go past 40,000 words and write my originally-planned ending!
- Strange Truth #6: If you want to convey any emotion to a reader, you must go ten times deeper inside the skin of the character, ten times deeper into the emotion.
- Strange Truth #7: When you turn yourself inside out with the drama of a scene, with some emotion that just depresses you for several days, you will have created a nice, entertaining read for the reader.
- Neurotic Whisperings: So please tell me I don’t have to go there today. Please tell me I don’t need to go that deep here. Just let me write, let me stay up here on the surface. Or ... oh, man. I cried, I made myself sick to my stomach with the emotion of this character. And the reader writes and tells me it was funny? Entertaining? I suck as a writer!
Join in the Thursday Thirteen fun!