Monday, August 07, 2006

Writer's Angst

The day has come. I know just enough to be dangerous. I'm working hard on my new work in progress (WIP), and last night I was ready to chuck the whole laptop out the window. Why? Because the only way I could think to phrase an emotion was as guilt. That is a big no-no in writing. I know that. But despite flipping through many of my writing resource books, I couldn't think of another way to say it. I went totally, completely blank.

That's why I am so glad I am a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and in particular our wonderful Indiana chapter. I sent out an angst ridden email, a plea for help, and within an hour had wonderful suggestions and encouragement from my friends Colleen Coble and Denise Hunter (If you haven't read any of their books, by the way, run to your nearest Christian bookstore and fix that problem!).

You see in writing we're supposed to show you an emotion, let you live it with the character, rather than just tell you she felt guilty, happy, sad, etc. It takes a lot more work and thought to do that. And sometimes my mind simply won't cooperate. But I now have suggestions and the permission to let my first draft be just that -- a first draft. And someday the perfectionist in me will be okay with that! And until then I'll read and study Colleen and Denise's books. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get it.

1 comment:

Gina said...

I'm still amazed as the pace you're going, cranking out those books. I must be more of a perfectionist because I'm still not finished with my suspense, though I'm also brainstorming two others.

I've taken several months off my Suspense and I'm glad I did because now I can see it through new eyes! I'm not afraid to cut the stuff I was holding on to. I guess the multiple rejects also helped.

So, if you get stuck, it's okay to switch gears for a while, and take a break. Your WIP and family :) might be better off for it.

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