Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Secret Number One

Will someone tell me where time goes?

It’s nearly dawn here. I’ve been up since four and I’ve already walked the dog and washed his feet. I’ve answered several e’s. I’ve written a future article for my blog, and I still have twenty e-mails to answer, the dog to bathe after his second walked, a husband to feed (he demands I do that at least three times a day – haven’t we human’s advanced to food in pill form yet? I guess not!), four loads of laundry to do besides rewriting an entire chapter today…and I know I’ve got at least three calls coming in very soon this morning to deal with. One is from my sister who is asking me for wisdom I don’t have….she thinks I’m Mahandas K. Gandhi…. {:-D and I so wouldn’t want to disillusion her of that! So, can anyone offer me something brilliant to tell her that will make me sound smarter than I am? Ah, the life of a writer isn’t an easy one because there never seems to be enough time.

But I did promise to share with inspiring writer’s a few of the secrets I’ve learned along the way on my writer’s journey, so here it goes. Oh, BTW for those that have paved this path already, check out my AUTHOR FRIEND’S blogs, listed at the right of the screen – you’ll be glad you did! Some are funny and others are cozy. They are as different as the writers who write them…go, and enjoy.

Secret One:

The most important thing I discovered about writing that would help me reach my dream of becoming a published author…is learning my craft. You have to pay your dues. And you start out by finding books at your local book store in the reference section, there are lots of them and any one you buy will get you a step closer to improving your talents. Learning your craft never ends. This is vital to remember.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, joining a local writer’s chapter is a must as well. It is there you will sharpen the skills you’ve learned from the books. Local writer chapters are a God sent to anyone looking to get published. At a chapter you will learn what the books don’t tell you. Guest speakers will offer insights that the books don’t and share secrets they’ve learned along their personal journey. Your chapter will give you feedback on how far you’ve come in your skills and offer friendships to last a lifetime.

Chapters and critique partners will help you to develop that tough outer layer of skin you’ll need when taking the next step – submitting and getting your first rejection. They will celebrate your joys and give a strong arm of support when you’ve been wounded by yet another pink slip.

Best place to start in finding your local chapter is with Romance Writer’s of America (RWA) at www.rwanational.org

The purpose of a critique partner is not to teach you how to write – that’s your job. A cp is there to help you see what you’ve missed and give suggestions, not rewrite your book. And don’t just take anyone who comes along as your Critique Partner. It’s important to read their work first. As well, it’s important to remember, a cp’s suggestion is just that; a suggestion. Don’t allow one to change your voice BUT don’t be stubborn when the offered help will get you into print. Learn to take criticism. Learn to enjoy the rewrite process – you’ll be doing that a lot! {:-)

BOOK LIST FOR STARTING OUT:

1) The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
2) The Writer’s little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr.
3) How To Write A Bestseller in 40 days Or Less! By Barbara DeBolt
4) Scene & Structure By Jack M. Bickham

The top four are awesome books to help the beginner in you. They are also great to read as you graduate past the beginner stage. Some of things you read as a beginner may not make sense, but when you read it again a flash of light goes off in your head with the second go around….it’s the “Ah ha” moment you hear about when writers talk. So keep searching, you’ll find books like, Plot & Structure By James Scott Bell, Beginnings, Middles & Ends By Nancy Kress, Description By Monica Wood, Plot By Ansen Dibell, Characters & Viewpoints …. The list goes on and each one will bring you closer to grabbing your brass ring!

There is a wise old saying and I live by it in every aspect of my life.

LEARN AS THOUGH YOU’LL LIVE FOREVER
AND
LIVE AS THOUGH YOU’LL DIE TOMORROW.

:-)

And my bit of wisdom added to that…
WRITE AS THOUGH YOU’RE ON A DEADLINE, DUE YESTERDAY!

{:-D

So, what about you? How does or did your beginner process start? Share some tips with us.

I’ll be back with secret number two next week. Until then, blessed be.

Hawk

5 comments:

Vicki said...

Great post! And I love the moon and fairies on the side. :)

Anonymous said...

Great site! I'll be back again for the second secret next week.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Vicki - I thought you'd like that! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to all but right now I can only answer you by posting under anonymous right along with everyone else - there is trouble with the site - so who posted under anonymous before I did - thank you for your kind words and I hope to have this problem fixed by next week so you can read secret #2.

Vicki said...

I'm leaving a test comment to check it out.