Writers are Two People

“In a writer there must always be two people –

The Writer & The Critic “

Leo Tolstoy

It’s so easy to criticise other writer’s work, but what about our own.

I understand how hard it is to distance yourself from your own work, to pass a critical eye over it. As I have said before it is much easier if you go back to your last project after having had a cooling off period. I often find if I’ve suffered a rejection on a story/ MS, and I’ve set it aside to finish working on something else, when I return to it, the problems within the piece seem to leap out at me.

If we were to be honest with ourselves we all enjoy writing reviews on other people’s work. We can see the faults with the piece much clearer. Of course, we have removed our writer’s hat and become just a reader. We are more focused on the unfolding story rather than its construction. When reviewing other people’s works we are more objective about it. It is tough to know what to cut from our own work and what to leave in after you have spent hours coming up with the perfect sentence or chapter.

I do find reading my work aloud, or having my husband read it to me highlights the problems and whether the piece flows nicely.

” I think people like my books because they like the way the words sound.”

Robert B Parker : American mystery crime writer

At the moment, I’m back editing my vampire novel. Distance has given me a fresh eye. I’m having to reduce its word count as its too long for my publisher. So I’m having to have a strong stomach and cut hard and fast. Once I’ve reduced the word count I can start tightening and rewriting the main plot.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing what my publisher thinks of the novel, ‘Seeking the Dark’. The novel has gone through many changes since I first wrote it. I’ve even changed its title, opening chapters, and ending numerous times. Years ago after I received positive reviews, but also rejections I decided as vampire novels were no longer in vogue, to write something else. A few months ago my Australian publisher became interested in it after reading the synopsis and opening chapters.

I’m still working on my next D&J novel. The plot line is coming together nicely. Ideas are flowing too. It’s the starting point I’m having problems with. I’m trying to work out how best to open the novel as I’m playing around with three timelines. I’ve created some individual scenes which have given me a taster of how this new novel will work.

In general, with my writing, I’m feeling a bit lost and outside my comfort zone since my crime novel has found its home. After years of working towards my goal, I’ve suddenly lost my safety net. I had learnt how to deal with rejection, and understood it was par for the course, but I’ve found a gaping hole has opened up in my life. Sitting at a keyboard writing alone has been my saviour, I could hide from the world, and dream my dreams with no expectations, telling myself when it happens it would be something spectacular.

A year ago, my submissions suddenly took off. I was happily getting short stories published in anthologies. There’s a kind of cosiness being between the covers with fellow writers. We were all equal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased my novel Stone Angels has found a home. I hold the paperback in my hand and can’t quite believe it’s real after all these years. My problem is coming to terms with the promoting side of the business. Having to come out of my writing dungeon and reveal myself to the world.

When you’ve spent many years writing to be published, you don’t really think about the promoting side of the business. I’ve heard it quoted many times. The writing is the easiest part and the cheapest too. There’s always someone out to make money from the writer’s dreams. You can spend a small fortune on every aspect of your writing career, and still not have a bestseller.

I always thought I would have a book launch, do a tour of local bookshops and appear on the local radio. Of course, in the time I’ve been writing things have changed. Now it’s all done over the internet, and through blog tours.

I can’t really put into words my feelings apart from there’s a huge void in my life now as though it was the climb to the top which was the dream, but not the view once you reached there. I do feel as though another mountain has appeared, but this one has left me feeling at a loss as I don’t know or understand how to tackle it.

I had hoped my writing would pay for itself and I could reward my husband for his encouragement after all these years. We don’t have the money to spend on promoting my books on BookBub etc, and in this day and age with world’s crisis and growing unemployment we have to watch every penny. So we will have to wait to see what happens next.

Until we meet again, keep on writing.

Best wishes always, from the writing slut. XX

6 thoughts on “Writers are Two People

Add yours

  1. A thoughtful article, Paula. Like you, I once dreamed of book launches in bookshops and interviews. The reality is very different. We can only hope that the quality of our writing will eventually pull enough readers in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, Priscilla. I’m not expecting to make millions, but I was hoping to have some money in my purse, so l could treat my husband as a thank you for believing in me. It’s sad to think the only way you can make money from writing is to sell writers their dreams back to them.i.e. Writing courses, ‘how to’ books, etc. Once your book is published then ‘how to’ books on promoting and marketing etc. There’s courses in every aspects, not for getting self-publishing.

      Like

  2. You also have to accept it has to be a VERY long term thing but whatever can be done for free, look into! Spreading the word on other writers’ blogs and your hosting them can be very useful. It gets your name out there and the more people see your name, the more likely it is they may check your books out. Networking with other writers and building friendships is vital because they’re the ones who will understand the most and sympathise when you’re not sure which way to turn next. And I would love to be able to treat my husband too, Paula. I see that as a very long term goal. (Though I could stand him a bag of chips I think!).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Getting critical distance from our work is one of the hardest things for writers. I would say it’s much harder to be objective about what we have written than it is to turn out the first draft. Thank goodness for the fresh eyes of editors, friends, and family!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

B for Bookreview

All my reviews are based on copies I received courtesy of publishers and/or authors.

Feastdiarylife

Enjoy reading the life experiences!

Robin Masnick

A Writer's Fairy Tale

unbolt me

the literary asylum

- MIKE STEEDEN -

THE DRIVELLINGS OF TWATTERSLEY FROMAGE

Story Empire

Exploring the World of Fiction

gracethoroughgoodbeauty

Beauty and lifestyle Blog

Echoes In An Empty Room

Hannah's book blog. This is my place where I share my favourite reads and chat about books.

ZLOZLO

brand creator, news maker

Lucy's Works and Co

A Little Writing Workshop of Horrors.

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

PurplePenPoeticYoga

Just another WordPress.com site

BestOfWrite

Reviews, stories and much more...

Sean P Carlin

Writer of things that go bump in the night

Mohamad Al Karbi

محمد القربي

Adnama-marsh

Unique Tales!

SONGNGUTAITRAM

Vietnamese art and literature, beyond borders

The Literary Juggernaut

For the reader in you

Callum Pearce

Lover of the magical as well as the macabre

The Last Chapter

Life past, present, thoughts about the future, and ever changing world

Write Minds

Elaine Roberts & Francesca Capaldi Burgess chatting about their writing world

Thrills, Spills, and just a dash of Romance

One writer's experiences, and battles with words

Cyranny's Cove

Refuge of an assumed danophile...

%d bloggers like this: