Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

When I first took up writing historical romance with an all-out passion, I knew absolutely nothing about the genre, or the business of writing. No notion of the massive journey that lay ahead. I was as unwitting as a newly hatched duckling, and thought I could embark on this quest and sail along. 

I remember the first contest I entered, assuming I would, of course, win. I was mentally planning my award acceptance speech when I received my scores. Not good, would you believe. I was stunned. One judge tossed me a bone. 'You have talent,' she assured me, 'as evidenced in your flair for description.'

Another bemused judge observed, 'You broke every rule.'

'Rules?' I mused. 'There's rules?'
I mean, who knew?

After a three day pout, I resumed the journey.

Somewhere along this rugged uphill climb, a kind soul directed me to RWA. I can't imagine how I would have grasped the rudiments without them and other writing groups. Always before me lay a new turn in the path, another hurdle to master, and onward ho I went like a sled dog through blinding snow, uncertain where shelter lay. Quitting might have been threatened, but was never a real option. No one ever achieves success by abandoning the quest. I knew that. Still do. So, wherever you are in the process, whether reveling in your stardom, or just undertaking this life changing journey, keep going. Though heavily veiled, it's a well worn path and there are kindly guides along the way.

My basic thinking about writing is that stuff's gotta happen in the story or you lose the reader's attention. 


Some wise quotes for inspiration:

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy


Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O'Brien

 
I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener



Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth



The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895


Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown


A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ~W. Somerset Maugham 



Writing comes more easily if you have something to say. ~Sholem Asch



I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. ~Peter De Vries



Publication — is the auction of the Mind of Man. ~Emily Dickinson



8 comments:

  1. I love this, Beth. I think it is so universal. My first book was so bad, even my own sister said she didn't like it until chapter five. That was a lesson learned right there. My second book, an agent told me she couldn't imagine ever being friends with my heroine, she was so self-absorbed. The criticisms kept coming and I kept learning lessons. But something in me made me keep at it until I learned some basic facts...and I'm still learning. I think the writing curve of a good writer is continual. ~ Vonnie Davis

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  2. Thanks Vonnie. I meant to add that about it being an ongoing process or journey. :)

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  3. I suppose all blossoming writers have read a book and thought, "I can do this," only to discover it's incredibly difficult to make it look easy. Great blog, Beth!

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  4. Thanks Kristy. I expect this is true.

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  5. At least it's not really lonely on that journey--there are always so many of us on the same road!

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  6. Right! Except at the beginning I was quite isolated.

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  7. Beth, I had a similar experience. When I joined RWA and heard workshops, I was embarrassed at what I'd written up to that point. Good post.

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  8. The Elmore Leonard quote is one of my favorites. Good post.

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