I imagine there are some writers out there who write their first novel effortlessly, a couple edits and they’re done. These people would be known as “naturals”. I am not a natural. I’ve only met one natural who was such a great storyteller I could easily see why novels just flowed out. But for most of us, the first novel is a great experiment, or learning experience. And many writers throw their first novels in the garbage. [Read more…]
As a newbie to writing, and related editing and publishing processes, I recently experienced an eye-opening, roller coaster ride of a learning curve as the Ascribe writers prepared a collection of short stories with plans to publish.
It was an ambitious project. Several group members served as editors, for each other and for the rest of us, in order to ensure our work was the best it could be. Each story was reviewed by four editors. In our scramble to meet deadlines, we created quite the log-jam at the end, making for extremely short turn-around times for writing changes and submitting stories to the next editor. [Read more…]
Yes! I am no longer a virgin!
I will have to say, Saturday was one of the scariest moments of my life. Entering a room full of about sixty people, armed with six copies of 10 pages of my own original writing, about to hand it over for semi-strangers to read and give their analyzed comments and criticism to me. They don’t just write down their comments on your manuscript – NO – these cringeworthy words are said OUT LOUD for ALL to hear. Okay, not everyone in the room is listening, thank goodness, just the six people at my table and any eavesdroppers who were lurking (yes, I was even worried about eavesdroppers).
So, what’s the big deal? They read it, they comment on it and you go home, right? WRONG. [Read more…]
Robert Ray, in his book “The Weekend Novelist Re-Writes the Novel”, provides the following tip: “Plant a sacred object on page one that recurs in Acts Two and Three. By the midpoint, that sacred object could be growing into a symbol. Symbols can make you famous. That sacred object, grown into a symbol, should make you proud. A happy writer.”
I know the importance of characters and setting in a story. But objects? What’s he talking about? With the lure of “famous, proud and happy” on the hook, I decided to find out.
“What I write is smarter than I am because I can re-write it.” Susan Sontag
We’re not always trying to be smarter, be we are trying to be better. For some the words just flow and little editing is needed. These are the best storytellers! But for many of us writers, we need to edit, especially beginning writers, at least I did. I keep hoping it gets easier in time. I keep reading more about how to write and all the techniques and things to remember get stuck in my head and I hope one day they just become part of me. We’ll see as I start on my second novel. [Read more…]