Topic for February: Everybody wants to write a book, but most do not.
Writing is hard work. What got you started, and what helps you get through a complete story?
How many times have you heard someone say, “Someday I’m going to write a book?” Many a time, I”m certain. However, most do not.
Why? Because writing is hard work.
What got me started? Like most children, I loved reading, drawing, and listening to the oral family history spoken by my grandparents. I also like to write stories (not particularly good stories) but for a second grader I did have a handle on the concept of plotting. Thinking back, I unnerved adults with my pointed interview questions, and thoughts about the meaning of life and life-after-death vs death-after-death. Picture: Tuesday Addams wearing glasses and constantly grumbling about receiving yet, another stupid doll instead of a filling cabinet for her birthday.
When, exactly, did I start and complete my first novel?
While I wrote short-stories, nonfiction articles for publication during my twenties, I didn’t get serious about completing a novel until thirties. My children were in school and I worked part-time. That gave me a block of free time to write (vs the scribbling on 3 x 5 index cards when I was cooking dinner or a note pad during a child’s 1 hour nap). I was serving on my church board when the choir soloist told me her sister was a co-president of the Orange County Chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). At the time, I hadnâ€™t every thought of writing a romance. I wrote for the YA and middle school market and dabbled in historical fiction, but Shirlee convinced me that the networking and workshops would be beneficial to me. She was correct.
Attending monthly meetings/workshops, exchanging rough drafts with my critique members during lunch, and input from the multi-published members gave me the confidence to persevere. It also made me crawl out of bed after my husband left for work (at 3:00 in the morning) and write before getting my children off to school.
I also discovered that I couldn’t give up my YA stories while I found my footing in a new market.
“So, what did Connie do?” you ask.
I work two novels at once which I still do to this very day.
Crazing making? Yes!
Writing romance isn’t easy. Strong, well-developed characters, good plot (and multiple subplots), sharp dialogue, and emotion-lots of emotion.
Writing is addictive. The story unfolds, the characters present themselves, and away the writer goes into a new Universe.
What makes me complete my novel/story?
The best way for me to describe the feel is I am driven to finish the story. Native Americans say the story chooses the Storyteller. It the Storyteller’s responsibly to bring the story to life.
Happy Reading and Happy Valentine Day!
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