Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year--Here's to a Wonderful 2014

Happy New Year everyone. I wish you all a healthy, productive 2014. May you accomplish your goals and achieve your dreams--well, as many as are feasible, at least! (I'm not sure about the lottery. LOL)

I'm always reluctant to Make Resolutions! I never keep them. However, I will set some writing goals for this year.

In the coming months, I hope to see the publication of THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX, Stephen and Evie's story. I'm also working on a novella featuring Henry and his lady, Katherine, and the final defeat of the villainous Sir Paxton. That's tentatively entitled LADY OF THE FOREST.

And for those of you who have (much to my surprise and joy) asked for Roark's story--well, he and Alyss are sitting in the wings. Perhaps one day soon...

I'm also hoping to finish a Regency I'd started some time ago.

To do this, I must be more devoted to the daily writing routine. I've always fought the handicap (and it is one) of wanting the words to be perfect the first time around. But over the past few years of writing fiction, I've learned--that's not going to happen. Not for me. And not for most writers I know.

Fiction is a process of creating and perfecting. Layering. Drafting. Editing. Drafting. Editing. And...

In my days at a daily newspaper, I got used to having a deadline and being expected to put the words down quickly and most of all accurately. (And I did pride myself on accuracy.) The editor gave the stories a once-over, then they were off to print. And that was that.

Of course with daily journalism, one does the research which often takes hours or days, then the writing, just as one does in fiction. But in journalism, one analyzes and arranges facts--solving puzzles, sometimes; answering challenges of obtaining information from reluctant sources. But when the writing begins, what we need is right there.

Some former journalists have found the fiction process to be similar--do the research, outline the story, write.

But for me, fiction is different. Yes, one must do research for historical facts. But when it comes time to put the story down, it's a different creative process. The words I choose reflect a picture in my mind, not the picture that's emerged in the 'puzzle' of an objective story. Perhaps if I could work from a complete and thorough plot outline, it might be different. But I can't. I find the story looses its "oomph" for me if it try that.

I like it to unfold as I go--although I do know major points along the way and I always know how it ends!! Of course! (There's always an HEA. Why? Well, that's a story for another day LOL.)

Where once I could write a couple of major news stories, along with several short ones, in a morning, the same number of fiction words takes me much longer.

And then they're never 'perfect.' They must be edited and revised and sometimes eliminated altogether. That's where I'm still learning that it's okay to write something that isn't perfect at the moment--because it'll be re-read and revised time and again before the story is completed. I'll have several go-rounds to try for that elusive 'perfection.'

For those writers who can sit down and get it right the first time--and I know a few--I have great admiration! I salute you.

For the rest of us--let's just write every day and know it doesn't need to be perfect the first time it's on the page. It just needs to be on the page the first time. Then we can work on our version of 'perfection.'

So let me wish you all the best this coming year. Be safe and God Bless.

Happy writing. Happy reading. Happy 2014. 

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