In preparation for my two book signings this year, I was forced to notify my day job that I would be gone for a few days and had to endure some obligatory small talk which quickly turned to a question… Read More »It’s Not What You Think: My Epic Writer Fail
Have you ever been asked to do a character analysis in English class as a student? I don’t remember much from the ones I did, but I do enjoy the concept. Obviously, not every character ever written is worthy of the bother, but every once in a while you get one you could spend hours on the couch with (in psychoanalysis…). You think you know them, but the more you look, the deeper you see. Part of why I love reading, re-reading, and writing is that all three allow you to revisit a certain situation, a certain place and time, a certain sentence spoken, and look beneath the surface in a way you can’t do in real life. Nuance and subtlety are the most irresistible lure for any hardcore bookworm. Yes, we enjoy action and passion, and witty dialogue, but what really keeps us coming back isn’t the obvious, it’s the things you have to dig for, think about, and chew on.
Why would you do that to a person??
Not too long ago, I was confronted with a reader’s question that gave me pause. The question was about Aiden from Wolfen and a certain thing that happens to him about halfway through the book. My answer was going to be simple and to the point: it was a test for him and another character, and their arcs hinged upon how they responded to it. But I paused because as I was typing this answer out, my mind veered off to a place I hadn’t gone before, even while writing this book, and it completely changed what I wanted to say. That place was Aiden’s past.
“Why would you do that to a person?” they asked.
Here’s my answer:
I recently came across this article about how publishing houses handle rejection letters. Shared on Facebook and promptly got into a couple of very good discussions about several elements the article presented. As I found it about a week after this blog post, which talks about the culture of entitlement and victimhood, I will admit my mindset was a bit skewed going into it, but thinking back, I still stand by my opinion that rejection is a natural and necessary part of growing as a writer and creator. Here is why:
Every year, at some point in the middle, I look back on the previous few months and bemoan the lack of a new book release. The thinking goes, if I didn’t publish a book yet, then I’m slacking, and losing momentum in the market, and losing readers along the way. What have I been doing with all this time?? It’s worse when I look at my Facebook News Feed and see dozens of other authors posting about their new or upcoming releases. I’m happy for my friends, but at the same time feel like I just missed a ton of opportunities.
And every year I have to remind myself that is the wrong kind of thinking.
Anyone else get paranoid when they’re editing (or self-editing) a manuscript and there are almost no corrections on a page? I am working my way through Blood Hunt, going on 16 chapters now, and so far all I’ve been fixing are contractions and a word choice here or there. I won’t lie, it had me worried until I remembered I’d already done a hard edit of this part when I hit the halfway point. Still, it somehow doesn’t seem right to leave a page without red ink.
Dear readers, writers, aspiring writers, and anyone interested in the writing world,
Brace yourself. You’re about to read a collection of personal tales of horror and deceit. This is the stuff writers don’t usually talk about. We like to pretend we exist on accomplishments and success alone, but that’s not really how it happens. What follows is my cautionary tale to others to be aware and beware. O.o
And the worst part is, it’s all true…
**Open with picture of cat to put reader at ease**
Oh, hai, you’re still with me. 😀 Most excellent! Now we can get started.
Forget about fame and fortune for a moment. Take book signings, launch parties, marketing, social media, and all that other stuff out of the equation. Let’s get down to the actual process of writing a book. Writers often talk about inspiration striking out of the blue, long stretches of writer’s block, and any number of levels in between. Of course, for each one who says this, there is another who says “real writers” don’t rely on inspiration, and you’re not a “real writer” unless you write every day. Truth is, there are as many ways to write as there are writers out there, and the trick is to just find the method that works best for you.
Here’s how I do it. The squeamish should look away.