So this week I’m prepared. I’m bending over getting ready for the spanking for being late even though these days I’m more often late than I am on or in time. But this time I have a good reason. Or at least I think it’s pretty damn great! I’m reading Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’.
I’m going to adopt the mantra ‘If you spend your life quacking on the void, no one will hear you!’.
This may just be the best book I’ve ever read. I nearly cried twice (yes I am a little over-emotional at the moment) and I lost track of how many times I chuckled or laughed out loud. The way it is written didn’t give me the best picture in my mind most of the time and I’m not sure I know what Stephen King looked like as he recounted his years growing up with his mum and brother but all the necessary stuff was there. I’m halfway through and only stopped to give you an update. Sometimes I have to stop or I’ll get lost and ignore everything and everyone around me.
I’m seeing some things in a new light this week. Between SK and Margie Lawson, I’ve learned new tools to help me hone my craft and in the middle of contest finals and requests from publishers, I think I needed it. Of the things I learned this week, one is that my chapters are probably too short. I’ve always written to a word count in my head for chapters and segments but I see I’ve been beating a dead dog. (Probably not the correct analogy (or word) but it’s the first thing that came to mind). No wonder my partials get returned with rejections attached. I’ve let myself down on one the fundamental rules of writing and that’s the make-up of the book. I don’t worry about things like white space or run on sentences unless they’re glaringly obvious. I don’t worry about too much or too little dialogue. I really have no worry for overusing –ly and –ing words anymore either. I think I know enough about those rules to sink a cruise liner. What I should have worried about was that I have about fifty chapters when really I should have thirty or twenty seven.
So tomorrow, in all the spare time I get, I’m going to concentrate on reordering the order of my chapters and segments. Instead of sending seven thousand words in three chapters to Harlequin, I can now send them twelve thousand with so much more meat (and sex). I love it when a new and exciting window opens and I can finally see past the brick wall previously blocking the view of unending possibilities!
Good luck and enjoy!
I'm a published author but I'm still mostly stumbling about in the dark looking for the right paths so this blog is about that, though sometimes something will give the me the shits and I'll have a bit of a rant. I'll try not to be offensive but occasionally my mouth opens without asking my brain's permission so I'll apologise in advance.