Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Well, it's in the mail. I returned the revised chapters the editor asked for along with the plot outline. And wouldn't you know it, after I dropped it in the mail, a writer friend found typos in it! $^&%& and triple $^&%& I went over that thing and over that thing.

Here's hoping the editors are a little more human than we all fear they may not be. I guess this is a real lesson in humility. No matter how I want and try to be perfect, I'm stuck with just plain old me. But not to worry. I kinda like me real good, as my granddaughter would say.

Now the task is to finish the manuscript and make each word count. I wish I could not go to work and sit and type all day and all night. Reality says that there are some important things that I would need to attend to even if I didn't have to work, like the relationships in my life.

It's those relationships that help me flesh out my characters. Because I know how it feels to be with others and experience others being with me, the desires, fears and losses of my characters have greater depth.

When was the last time one of your characters did more than the obvious? What makes a story work are the subtleties and layers of everything within your writing. If all you have to say are the obvious things then settle for another "Dick and Jane" book. But if what you're after is a novel that hooks the reader, then invest in folds, seams, and tiers. Leave the obvious for those who can do no better. Keep at it. You'll get there.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Another week has rolled around and I'm still writing. The challenge for the day is to tweak my synopsis to perfection. But is there such a thing. I wonder.

When I'm writing I'm constantly looking for a better word, a better way to say it. I can't tell you how I struggle with finding the 'right active voice' for a phrase. It is the bane of the writer's existence.

Every word has to be important, or don't put it in. Every line must move you to the next. The first line's job is to drag you in. Whether it's the first line of the chapter, page, or book it doesn't matter. It must trap you.

And the last line is equally important. Sometimes, it's more important that the first line. It's job is to hook you, be it the last line of the page, chapter. or the book.

I believe that last line of the book is the most important line you'll right. It ties everything together. It satisfies the reader on one hand, but leaves them hungering for more, on the other. The last line must demand of the reader that they seize your next book, and your next.

The perfect first line and the perfect last line are what keep people reading. A solid active story between those lines satisfies.

So I'm off to polish and shine up my work. I've got to get it just right. See ya.