My Writing Path (part 2)
I made a teensy mistake regarding my creative process. I wrote book after book without stopping to edit, or stopping to learn how to edit. You hear all over the place, “Authors wear many hats.” I ignored that. The Touched Girl series blazed by until book four, which I wrote into the ground. Granted, I was maxed out on stress because my one year old just had his kidney taken out and he recovered much quicker than the rest of us. I decided after 200,000 words to stop.
Without taking taking a breath, I dreamed up Maggie. I had a couple starts and stops with her. I knew her name, Maggie Lane. I knew she'd be rude and unlikeable to most people in her life, and I knew she'd be tough. Then one day a utility truck sat in front of my neighbor's house. I growled. I really did. Last time a utility truck was in our cul de sac it was in my driveway. The guy had his clipboard and attitude problem and he was about to cut my power all because they mailed my bill to the wrong address as well as the late notice. I paid my bill on the wrong address to top off the perfect storm. It all seemed fixable, so I told him, “You can't turn off my power in the middle of winter because of a clerical error.” He said, “I can do anything I want.” And Maggie's first book had her opening scene.
A story can start that simple. Editing it is a whole different beast. At my trusty library, I found “Self-EditingFor Fiction Writers,” by Renni Browne and Dave King. I fell in love with the first read through, so much so I raced around town to find a used copy to own. I read it again, this time completing all the exercises. Man, did I feel armed and awesome. The book provides definitive do's and dont's, which sounds perfect...until you reward yourself with pleasure reading. Grrh! A little knowledge in eager hands can ruin books. I couldn't find a rhythm because I kept stopping and scolding the author, then myself, then the manual.
What to do? You can't be a writer and hate reading. I remembered a different professor in college, my wonderful Asian Philosophy teacher who liked to get creative with his interpretations of Zen Buddhism. I'm not sure if “unlearning” is an actual tenet of Zen, but I tapped into the art of unlearning. Now I strive to appreciate the voice behind the words in both my work and others.
About Robyn Jones:
Blog / Twitter / Goodreads
This week is the tour for Robyn Jones' Soul Bender (Touched Girl Series #2) that I am hosting. Please check out all the stops on this tour. This is the schedule:
There is a tour-wide giveaway of a $50 Amazon gift card and 3 ebook copies of your choice of Soul Walker or Soul Bender available for winners.
Bookworm Brandee - Review, Top 10
PRUFreads - Review
Forget the Housework, I'm Reading... - Review, Top 10
Sycho Faerie's Book Obsession - Review
Rainbows and Books - Character Interview, Excerpt
JC's Book Haven - Review
Margay Leah Justice - Top 10
My Favorite Escape - Excerpt
Donnie Darko Girl - Review
Bookshelf - Review
WeaklingNo14's Wondrous Reviews - Review, Character Interview, Excerpt
Bookwyrming Thought - Top 10
Aussie Bookworm - Review