BabesinBookland

2 Blondes, 1 Redhead & a Reviewer

You know you’re a writer when . . .

Before I ever had aspirations of becoming a writer, I was a voracious reader.  Aside from the assigned material in high school and college, I was always drawn to commercial fiction.  My hero at 13 was Sydney Sheldon.

As a family we always vacationed at golf/beach resorts so I learned the art of relaxing with a good book at an early age.  I could ‘see’ the characters in my head and all the locations came to life.  I really wanted to try my hand at that, too naive to know it isn’t as easy as thinking up a story and putting fingertips to IBM selectric (Yes, I am that old).

I was far from an overnight success but those 10 years of failure taught me a lot about the craft of writing.  Not only did I need to be a storyteller, I also had to be proficient in plotting, pacing, characterization and conflict.  There’s no writer’s school for that.  It’s one of those on-the-job learning things.

The closest you can come to moving closer to that goal of being a writer is to read and learn.  There is no magic handshake.  I attended conferences and at every possible turn, I went to hear speakers at local libraries and community centers.  I learned volumes.

At the end of the day, you have to want it.  I know a lot of people who are in love with the idea of being a writer; they just don’t want to put in the time and effort to actually write.  Still working on that manuscript you started 2 years ago?  Well, you might want to rethink that.

I wanted to be published so badly I could taste it.  And when I say it took me 10 years, I’m not kidding.  I started (and stopped) about 20 manuscripts in that amount of time.  It wasn’t until I learned the only secret that I finally sold.  And that secret is voice.  The way you tell a story is your voice.  Some voices are more appropriate in historical fiction; others work best in YA; mine just happens to be either humor or serial killers.  Or I can combine the 2 and do funny killers – just kidding.  No one can give you a voice; you have to find your own.  Sometimes that takes 10 years.

 

Happy Writing

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