Monomania – definition: obsession with a single subject or idea
Well, I’m sure you are all aware of my monomania – writing but it would be fun to see what your obsession is.
Since finding ‘writing’ as a creative outlet there has been no stopping me. The added benefits are the friends I have made through the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and through all the forms of social media I subscribe to, especially this blog.
Take a peek at this great links:
Tribulation – definition: a severe trial or period of suffering
To thoroughly engage our readers our characters have to face or overcome trials of one sort or another. This is the core of our stories.
In my novel, Life in Slake Patch, my POV character, Evan had a difficult dilemma. Whether to choose between upholding the matriarchy laws and suffer separation from his lover, side with the rebellious Tribe or somehow find a compromise.
With my reincarnation romance, The Twesome Loop, my 18th century character, Gabriella wanted to escape from her cruel but wealthy husband. She would have to risk destitution with her young son or follow her heart with her husband’s younger brother, Arthur. Within the modern era of the same novel, Melissa could suffer years of neglect from her conniving husband as he spent her inheritance or forge a new life for herself in Italy.
And my fantasy, The Rython Kingdom, sees a troubadour become instrumental in the battle against a vengeful witch, along side a beautiful but mysterious young woman, who has her own agenda.
Care to share some of your stories core tribulations?
Inept – Definition: 1) not suited for the occasion: inappropriate 2) lacking in skill or ability: incompetent
No matter at which point we are in our writing journeys, feelings of being inept plaque us. We can all make a long list of insecurities and worries about our style, skill level and current Work in Progress. My question is – if we didn’t have these uncertainties would we be a ‘better’ writer or not?
Striving for perfection can easily become an obsession and our work will suffer for it. There is a fine balance between a polished piece of work and a ‘ruined’ one. On the other hand expecting an agent or publisher to over-look editing and grammatical errors because we feel our manuscript is unique is a major flaw. Reading as a professional would, is the key, although this in itself is a difficult task after spending months if not years creating our story. We are engaged with the characters and their conflicts and struggles. They have become ‘real’ to us and the story runs in our minds rather than on the page. This is the crux of the problem – are we actually reading the words or playing out the story?
The Internet is full of writing tips as we all know but some recurring ones on tightening up a manuscript have commonalities.
- Leave the manuscript unread for a period of time.
- Read the story from back to front – chapter by chapter.
- Focus on one aspect of editing at a time. i.e. grammar, plot lines etc. (I’ve even heard of one author printing her manuscripts on different colored paper for each revision!)
- Have other people read it and critique (honestly).
- Send a section to a professional editor.
- Take advantage of a local Writer in Residence for feedback.
- Read a section out loud to your writer’s circle and ask for comments.
However, feelings of being inept are not just limited to our written work. Are you confident in public speaking? It is one thing reading to a group of people you know but what about in the public domain? Author readings are a great way to present your work and create interest in your stories.
- Practice the piece you are going to read in front of a mirror.
- Take care in your selection of clothing, depending on the venue and audience age.
- Choose a section or chapter with lots of action or intrigue.
- Remember to look up at your audience and gesticulate.
- Project your voice and don’t mumble.
- Don’t rush – this is the hardest!
- Be prepared to answer questions at the end.
The above tips work well for live interviews as well, either on radio or television. You may have some flexibility with these if they are not ‘live’ and can re-take the whole interview or a part of it.
Social media is another avenue of uncertainty for many writers and authors. Cherishing your work in a desk drawer is great but if you are serious about releasing it into the public domain you need to invest some time into this resource.
- Research what type of social media, authors in the same genre are using.
- Carefully investigate the multitude of options available. There is not a ‘one fits all’.
- Pick the sites that best suit your level of commitment. (How much time you are willingly to put into them as it can take over your life if you let it!)
- A blog is a useful tool to increase your profile. Decide on what theme, style, subject and frequency you can fulfill.
- Link to similar genre writers on web sites such as Twitter.
- Utilize your personal sites to connect to groups.
- Utilize ‘sharing’ sites, such as Networked Blogs and options on other web sites. i.e. WordPress.com links to face book, twitter and Google +
Conquer your feelings of ineptitude with your ‘writing’ support system, whatever that entails. Whether a writing circle, close friends or family that encourage you or virtual supporters – reach out – you’ll be surprised. Remember to offer support back too – it is not only very rewarding but expands your writing ‘community’.