Well, I’m finally in edit/critique phase of Steam Palace. I’m still looking for a few more dedicated beta readers to help me hammer this into a final form, so send me a note if you’re interested! I’m still looking at Labor Day to start sending out queries. Ambitious, but I can do this, but I could use your help!
So here go the important lessons.
- Share. I think my family gets tired hearing about my book, but I think this may be because I tend to complain about setbacks and story issues and negative criticisms, but I rarely share all the positive feedback I receive. Things like “[Viola]is one of…my favorite characters in the blog circles.” That’s pretty high praise.
- Finish. After I read this post by Natalie Whipple, I realized that I’m trying too hard to make everything perfect. I’m not trying to create a best-seller or anything, I just have listened to a lot of advice that new authors need to make a huge impact, so everything must be perfect. I’m beginning to not believe this so much. Every book is flawed. No character is perfect. People will either like my writing or they won’t. It will either sell or it won’t, and no amount of revision will change that. I write how I write, I care about the things I care about. My characters fight and love and care and hate, and if people aren’t on board with them, what can I really do? Move on, that’s really it.
- Most Writing Advice Sucks. And I’m not talking about endless writing blogs explaining that show is absolutely better than tell even though it triples your word count. I think it’s because most people (and I’m including the professional books on writing) present writing rules as absolute-you-must-follow-or-never-see-publication rules. That’s crap. Everything has its place, even adverbs. And, like show vs tell, everything has a price. No backstory? Then no motivation. Deep POV? Then no broader look at the scene. No adverbs? Then choppy sentences without color. Sometimes, someone just runs fast. I want these fucking rules to be presented as choices, not rules, with pros and cons on each side. The more I try to follow them, the deeper hole I dig myself. Yes, I will continue to listen and read writing advice, but I will try to understand it on a deeper level, not a robotic follow-or-die mentality.
- Just Tell The Story. I think this is one thing I’ve lost touch with. I’ve been so concerned with making everything perfect, that I’ve forgotten what this craft is all about. Telling a story. About a woman who meets this other woman who she can’t stand at first but by the end of the story they are willing to die for each other. That’s all it is. That’s all I need to
tellshow. Wow…I just discovered the whole theme to Steam Palace as I wrote this: You can love people who are vastly different from yourself, because deep inside, we’re really all the same. That’s all my book is. Kewl. Check out this great post on Theme by Merrilee. So all I need to do is focus on what my story is and remove all the extraneous crap. Done and done.
Thanks for listening, and don’t forget…NaNoWriMo starts in 100 days!!!!