“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