My (scary) Admission

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I've been pretty busy these last few weeks working on a WIP and spending several hours a day at the hospital with my uncle. While thinking about my writing and editing and my WIP, it occurred to me that most of the time, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Okay, now some of you may be laughing, and others may be freaking out.

"What do you mean you don't know what you're doing?!"

To clarify, I've been writing seriously for several years. I've read various books on craft, writing, editing, etc. I've taken writing/editing classes. I've read more books than I care to count, in and out of my genre. I've done just about everything most established writers, publishers, and agents recommend you do if you want to succeed in this business.

All of that reading, learning, and researching has helped me develop my style, voice, plotting, and blah blah blah.

The point I'm really trying to get to here is you can read every "The Craft of Writing" book out there, take every class you can afford, and read blogs until your eyes blur. But unless you try, unless you practice, you really aren't doing yourself any favors.

Information comes and goes. Trends spike then wither. Unless you are pushing yourself, confident in your writing or not, you will not get anywhere in this industry.

Back to me knowing nothing. It's true. I write what I would want to read. I make my characters ones I can relate to. I give them flaws because it's interesting. Before I decided to try my hand at writing, I was a reader first. And the reader in me loves tension and emotion and screwed up characters. Instead of writing the way someone with a PhD tells me to, I take my own path and see where it leads.

That's right, just winging it.

I had no idea how to edit when I printed out my first completed manuscript. And let me tell you, it was a disaster.

Now I have guidelines--I read the draft over from beginning to end, making only major notes, instead of bothering with minor grammer issues--but my process almost always changes with every single book.

When I start a new project, again I have no idea what I'm doing. And to tell the truth. I kinda like it that way.

Care to share a detail of your writing/editing/plotting process? I'd love to add a new tidbit to my next project.


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