Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Tuesday's Inspiration - Practice, Practice, Practice #MFRWauthor
Talent is a must for a writer but no matter how great a talent is, unless the writer shows they have learned the techniques needed to coax the reader into his or her world, the writing goes flat. We've all read books that make us want to scream. The story is great but the writing leaves us cold and more time is spent correcting the writer's mistakes than in reading the story.
Taking courses in writing fiction help but the biggest way to gain what's needed is to write every day at the same time. Sure it doesn't have to be daily but there has to be a routine, a time when your body knows this is the time to write that story. When rejections come, instead of blaming the editor or agent of not knowing a good story when they see it, the time has come to rewrite that story to see where you've gone wrong. If you're really lucky, instead of the cold "This isn't for us." Some editor will jot a note. "Your characters have no real motivation." Or some other note that gives you a clue. So you practice putting words on paper and discovering the characters' motivations.
I had a fairly early success in my writing and sold a number of short stories. Then the short story dried up. I had to learn how to write novels and that took practice. Then I stepped away from writing for about ten years while I helped put children through college. The time came when I could return to writing. Did all I'd learned before return immediately. Not a chance. I had to practice, practice, practice and re-learn all that had grown rusty from dis-use. Three years of practice gave me a sale.
The moral of this story is try to find time every day to write, even if it's only fifteen minutes and if you only produce a hundred words. In the end the practice will find you holding a book in your hand.