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Friday, September 30, 2011

Writing that you can Feel

I'm barely thirty pages into Stephen King's On Writing. The first half of the book covers his childhood and his journey to becoming a published author. Eh, probably boring, right?

So wrong.

The man isn't one of the bestselling authors of all time for nothing. I've already laughed out loud and gasped in horror. I squirmed in my chair when he described a doctor popping his ear drum. Everything he writes is so full of feeling. I'm completely immersed from page one, as though someone set me on that exam table with him and stuck a ruler-sized needle in my ear, too.

Now I've realized my first draft is like a movie script—the action is there, but the emotion is surface-deep. I show everything that happens, but I don't give a lot of insight into what my characters are feeling. So for draft two of the novel, that's what I'm focusing on.

What have you read that gets under your skin?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So you want to be a writer...

When I started writing my novel seven months ago, I thought it would be easy. I love to write. And the idea I have is one that's been right in front of my face for almost ten years. It was time to do something about it.

I started writing. At first it was just a couple times a week--I'd sit down and just see where my imagination took me. I started with just three things: the general idea, a basic outline of my main characters, and the climax. I had no idea what was going to happen in between.

But miraculously, a story formed. The characters came alive like I never imagined. I started paying closer attention to the people around me: how they moved, how they interacted, all the funny things they said. My characters adopted their traits (if you know me personally, you might want to start worrying now).

A couple times a week turned into a couple hours a day. Suddenly I was dreaming up new scenes everywhere I went, from my drive to work to when I was out on a run or even at the store. I finished the novel in August.

At least I thought I did. More on that later.

My little novel still has a long ways to go, but I will do whatever it takes to get it published, whether that means self-publishing or traditional. If anyone else out there is trying to get published, I hope if nothing else I can help by describing what steps I'm taking, and give some insight into the frustration and the joy that is inevitably part of this process. And if you've published something already, I'd love to hear your story!

Can I write well enough to be published? I don't know.

But I'm going to try.
 

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