Lazy writer … backspace and correct, that should be lady writer. But maybe the fingers did the walking correctly the first time.
For ten years I wrote a semi-regular column in a local newspaper. Even though I knew the deadlines a year in advance, and only 800 words were required, I still would be frantically banging it out at the last minute and even occasionally begging for a day longer to submit.
It is always quite comforting in a naughty way to read a similar confession from A LOT of writers. As with misery, laziness likes company! I think we all love daydreaming and working up plots in our heads; but the physical discipline of sitting down and moulding those daydreams into a 50,000+ word narrative is a challenge that many of us just won’t rise to. Or begin but don’t finish. Or get through the first write, but don’t ever go back to knock it into better shape.
It’s why writing is called a craft I suppose. We are making something new from a plan we imagined, in the same way a builder makes concrete the idea of a client. Together they make an overall plan, a picture of the finished product. But then the builder has to break it down into do-able chunks. All the tasks must be scheduled the materials there ready to be worked with. Progress has to be checked regularly on site, and necessary changes made on the way, so the building will stand firm and be everything the client wants it to be. If there is a problem with the original plan or the client wants changes adjustments must be made to incorporate the changes.
In short, it is work, albeit stimulating and compelling work. Writers of first books are their own client, builder, tradies … we must initially be jacks of all trades in our aspiration to be master of one.
We in Perth often whinge about the two and sometimes three hour time difference between Perth and the Eastern States of Australia. It seems every business in the world works on Sydney time in matters Australian. But I have discovered a reason to love this phenomenon.
I picked up my kindle to read a bit last night AND IT WAS THERE. Yes, dear reader, I confess. I pre-ordered my own book. So by 10.30pm, (midnight EST) my book and Pat Dusenbury’s had downloaded onto my kindle.
Indescribable elation to see it there looking back at me from the screen. My husband and daughter who designed the cover were right, that cover picture works perfectly in greyscale.
Can you bear the suspense of wondering – did she or didn’t she read her own book again?
Of course she did!
Yours is next on the reading list, Pat.
I sent off my historical romance manuscript to US e-publisher Uncial Press last year. Well, I’d finished it, and had to do something with it didn’t I? To my surprise and delight those lovely ladies accepted it. Well, dear reader, I thought that was the end of it but no. That was just the beginning. No kicking back and resting on my somewhat meagre laurels. When the first edit came back it was pretty much rewrite or give up. I rewrote.
Things I have learned so far:
1. Never use the name Will for any character.
2. If you do use the name Will for any character, make sure you haven’t given anyone else the name William.
3. The word “will” is used far too much in the English language.
4. Check, recheck and check again. And there will still be something you have missed. But don’t worry, your ‘test’ readers will find it for you.
5. It is worth subscribing to the online version of the grammar and usage manual your publisher uses.
6. The rush of having your work accepted makes all those hours worthwhile.
7. Editors are invaluable. Perhaps this point should be first.
The learning curve has been steep. More like a greasy pole sometimes. And I’m still on it, just a raw beginner. But I am so excited to be looking forward now to the publishing of my first historical romance, “The King’s Gift”, on 21st September 2014.