Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Truths about Writing

I can't think of a better name for my blog.

This is not a truth about writing. It's me complaining about the title of my blog.

I figured I'd start off with a reminder I need a new blog name sometime soon, eventually.

But here's a picture of some crazy flowers first, because flowers know how to live. These are my favorite flowers. So tough, so wild. Kinda crazy. They embrace their beauty even if their petals aren't quite even.

Playing in the wind, were we?

And before I get to truths about writing, here's one more picture  I took this summer. I love it, because you can see Wild Horse Island sort of fade into the distance like a painting, which is exactly what it looked like that day.

Truths about writing.

I think I’ve done a similar post in the past, but I think about writing when I’m writing a novel, and, as most of my friends/four blog readers know,  I’m writing a novel.
It’s true that writers want their work published, and preferably, to make a nice dime or so on it.
It’s also true that writers don’t need to have their work published to feel accomplished with writing. That may be my truth, but I think I’m not the only one. Publishing is an outward sign of success, of course, but publishing is the end of a long process that no sane person would go through just to make a nice, shiny dime.
Or, put simply, writers don’t write to make money. Not the best writers. Many writers make money. There are a bunch that make hoops of money. Most writers would love to be those writers. Some of those writers write specifically to make money, and would argue with my philosophy that writers write for the love of the craft. I fall into the ‘of COURSE I’d love to make money’ camp. Since, then, I could write and write and write…. I don’t write for that, though. That would just be a nice side effect. I write because I have stories in my head, and I’m compelled to write them down. if I don’t write them down, I start feeling guilty, because there are characters, real characters with stories and lives, and if I don’t put them on paper and give them breath and a chance at life, they will haunt me for years to come. (I’m talking about you, random dwarf with an axe chasing a dragon.)

This is writing. You start out on a sunny day on a trail, one you know. Then, it rains, the temperature drops, fog rolls in. Suddenly,  nothing is the same. Now it's a rainy, chilly foggy day and you now need a coat and hat and coffee. Even though you are in the same place, everything is different. Even though it's chillier and darker, it's somehow better. That is writing, if you do it enough. Kind of. You have to appreciate the not-sunny days.

They are funny, like Try to Be Human. Try to Be Human is unpublished, and probably will be forever, because I finished it at the same time that the market for that genre dried up. Which is a shame, because it’s really kinda funny, and perfect for the market of women who aren’t 30 and single or 45 and divorced!
They are fantastical. My very first unpublished novel, a fairy tale,  is fun, but not at all something that was written well. There were moments of great genius in my first unpublished novel, but the plot holes were black holes, and I was trying to tell two different stories in one. It went through so many rewrites it no longer resembled what it was meant to be. I could fix it, but my mind has moved on to other stories. I don’t even know if I sent this one to agents; probably not, I didn’t think it’d go anywhere.
My space/end of time first draft, which I edit sporadically, is lyrical. I love  some of the phrases I use in it and I love some of the characteristics of the race I created. It’s going to take me a few more rewrites to get it right, and I’m not sure I can finish that in a year, but I love the space saga approach of the story, so I’m sticking with it for now. I think this one will prove true through the end, but I don’t know. I never really know until it’s done.
My current work-in-progress is another sci-fi piece. I’m excited about it because I’ve finally got a handle on the pacing for the story. Pacing is tricky, and I’m writing a YA novel, so I have to get it right. I read mystery novels for pacing, which is really funny, since I’m writing a sci-fiction piece, but I like the pacing of mystery novels and this one is a kind-of detective hunt. Well, and now, also,  I really want to write a mystery now. I’ve got a plot, characters and location down. After science fiction, it’s going to be murder.
I’d love to get published. One day, if I keep at this, I probably will. For me, though, as a writer, it’s really about the journey and the process.

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