Monday, May 19, 2014

Writing = Worth it.


Back when I was dancing/teaching, one of the things I used to tell my students is that when things are easy, we aren’t growing. It’s when we start to feel the burn in our muscles and we don’t think we can hold on any longer, is the only time when we’re growing stronger—improving our extension, gaining strength, refining technique.

I’ve found the same principle with writing.

I don’t think people really realize how difficult writing is. Not only the actual process, but the emotional process too. I once had someone tell me, “Oh, if you can write then I can too!” I laughed… I don’t think they meant it as a backhanded compliment, but it did make me realize that from the outside looking in, it probably does seem pretty easy.

But it isn’t.

Just off the top of my head, this is a list of elements we need to master:


Hook.
Pacing.
Compelling concept.
Original prose.
Unforgettable characters.
Conflict on every page.
Tight sentences.
Heart.
Clever imagery.
Action.
Humor.
Good dialogue.
Surprise.
Cliffhangers.
No clich├ęs.
Gripping plotline.
Tension.
Showing, not telling.
No info dumping.
Weaving in layers.
Evoking an emotional response.
Themes.
Story arcs.
Voice.

And I KNOW the list goes on…

So I just wanted to say I’m proud of all of you. I’m proud that you choose to put yourself out there because it’s a scary thing to do. It’s scary not only to stretch ourselves and see if we’re capable of writing, but to then send our work out to betas and agents and editors… which will probably be ripped to shreds.


The more I learn, the more I respect great novelists. They make it look easy. Just like in ballet, a great dancer makes it look effortless. But we know the truth.  It takes hours of work and dedication. We don't often see the progress as we try to hold our leg up to our ear for that extra ten seconds or try to rework that chapter one last time, but slowly, often without our knowledge, we are growing and getting stronger in ways we can't even imagine. 

So worth it?  Definitely worth it. :)


Red. Head. Out.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Update, Thoughts, Inspiration, Sweet Reckoning:



Update: I’m soooo relieved that I finished my latest WIP. It’s SUCH a great feeling to at least have the story all on paper and have it off to my first beta reader.


Thoughts: The process doesn’t necessarily get easier every time I write a book, but I have come to be okay with the process. I’ve accepted the down moments and have learned that they will pass. In fact, I even embrace those moments—instead of letting them paralyze me, I let them happen, knowing that there’s an up moment just around the corner.

I’ve also learned to not feel pressure. It doesn’t matter who’s doing what/writing what around you—it’s SO important to write what makes your soul happy—to remember why you started writing in the first place and keep that as your sole motivation.

Cort and Me

Inspiration: This past week, I got to hang with the fabulous Jolene Perry AND Cortney Pearson. They both came to town for Storymakers here in Utah (a conference I did not attend, wanting to save up for SCBW LA)—but from the pics I’ve seen, it was a blast!

It’s so refreshing speaking face to face with writer friends—there’s nothing better than writer talk. I think hanging with these gals was the reason I was able to push myself and get those last words of my WIP done!






Sweet Reckoning: I have to put in a plug for my dear friend, Wendy Higgins. Her Sweet Evil trilogy is now complete! She’s such an amazing friend and an amazing writer—I’m so proud of what she’s accomplished and cannot WAIT to read the final installment of this amazing world she’s created.

You MUST GET YOUR COPY HERE!!!


Any updates, thoughts, inspiration or news you’d like to share? I’ve missed my bloggy friends—are you A-Zers brain-dead???  


Red. Head. Out.
 
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