This post was originally published on July 24,2010.
I hope you enjoy.
Begins with one step.
When I began this journey, I had no idea where I was going. Worse, if I started, would I be able to finish?
My characters whether they are in the throes of a murder or an impossible relationship are fun to write and fun to read.
This process is a journey of discovery.
People make faces when a writer says they let their characters take them where they need to go. Often, I have an idea of how a story will end and then one of my characters pulls my arm and says, “No, go this way.”
And off I go in a new direction.
I’ve decided to talk a bit about the writing advice I find in many of the excellent articles in the major writer’s magazines, or e-zines, or books and/or blogs written by and for authors. It is important to listen to those who have made the journey and are kind enough to share their wisdom and often, their mistakes, and hold up a light at the end of the tunnel.
You can learn how to perfect your language usage, seek and destroy those passive verbs, modify and eliminate most of the hyperbole of the “ly” and, naturally, you can beg someone, as I must, to edit your horrid spelling.
Yet, no one can teach you how to tell a story, because the stories are in you. Are you inspirational or romantic? Are you cunning or crabby?
No matter. At the end of the day, can you tell a good story?
There is a maelstrom of noise from the writing community discussing to nauseum the “trends” of what publishers and agents are “looking for” these days.
Alas, poor lads and lassies, you cannot follow the current trends because by the time you think you have caught them … they have changed gears and left you in the dust.
Take the first step towards your own personal destiny, do good work every day, and write the stories only you can write.
Tell me. Once you have taken that first important step, do you know where you want to go?