When I begin writing a book, the characters tell me what to say. For me, characters usually make themselves known when I’m on the treadmill. Seriously, I’ve had epiphanies on the treadmill – and it’s a win-win situation. If you’ve never written before, that may sound ridiculous, characters talking to you, and I used to think the same thing when I heard it from others. Until I started writing. I’ve had characters try to take over and make themselves the MC, only to beat them back to a supporting role. One of my characters got himself killed – I never planned for that to happen, but it made for a more interesting read and opened up all kinds of new directions. So the initial asking of a question “What if …..?” and finding your story, having the characters dictate it, then finishing it – that’s the easy part. Now comes the hard stuff.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I found a critique partner through www.absolutewrite.com. She finished her edits of my book this week and gave me amazing suggestions, pointed out plot holes, and made me see my tendency to shift tenses in the middle of paragraphs or even the same sentence. Something you’d think I would have picked up on before now, but no, even after having read through the book more times than I can count, I’d never noticed. In addition to that, I have to plug the plot holes, delete lines I’ve loved because they take away from the moment, add description, dialogue, explanations – you see what I’m talking about. Writing the story was fun – editing is something else entirely.
I also wanted to let you know about the “Dear Lucky Agent” contest through Writer’s Digest I’ll be entering. Contestants are judged solely on the first 150-200 lines of unpublished, book-length work – not a lot of pages to impress the judges with, so it better be good. Wish me luck.
Now it’s time to turn on the Pandora, put in the ear buds, get a Diet Coke, and begin the monstrous task of editing.