Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - The Three P's #MFRWauthor

Rereading old essays by other writers always helps give me inspiration. This one is by John Jakes and mentions what he calls is the 3 P's.

Practice - Not only did I read this but I heard other writers mention practice. Meaning to write every day even if it was only a paragraph or a page. I certainly did this. No matter what else happened during a day in those early years I wrote something. What I did not do was write the same story over and over again. I began with short stories so I took several days to write a story and put it aside. I went onto another one. Then I returned to the first story and read it over. What did I miss and where did I need to expand. I wrote the story over again. Now I write with pen an paper for the initial drafts. What I learned was the more I practiced the better my writing sounded at least to me. So sit down and write every day even if it's not much. There are people who are streak writers but they also have to practice putting their characters through their paces to make a story.

Persistence - This is the second of the P's. A good one to master. Submitting a story once and having it return with a form rejection letter is no fun. But if you give up, you'll never become a published writer. I wrote and re-wrote my first story and my first novel again and again and each time I revised I sent the story out again. Every one of them was picked up. Several of my novels have taken years of submitting before someone decided to publish the story. So have a little faith in yourself and send that story out after you've cleaned it up. Persistence does pay.

Professionalism - The third P. Just what does this mean. The story is semi- accepted. The editor says she likes certain elements but there needs to be some changes made. Maybe your favorite scene has to go. You need to look at this through another's eyes and try to figure what this means. I remember when I returned to writing after a ten year hiatus and sending off the first few chapters and a synopsis of the story to an editor a friend hyped my book to. I had the hero's daughter die in childbirth. This led to the hero's dark moment. I sat and puzzled this over and over. I needed him to believe she had died. How could I do this? Took several weeks before I came up with the solution. The editor was right and made the story stronger. Always remember your words aren't carved in stone and if the solution isn't one you like, find a way to make it work.

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