Self awareness is a bitch….
I just discovered something about myself as I was giving my beta editor fits. I color outside the lines-especially when I write in first person.
So here’s the deal…I never took a writing course, never went to the GCLS writing academy, didn’t major in English, but that didn’t stop me from writing my first novel at age fifty-five. I had a dream, a lot of free time at night, and a love of books. I read literally hundreds of books each year and thought, what the hell I think I can do this. I typed furiously on my computer, laid out my first manuscript, and sparked an interest with Affinity. They set up a Skype call to say my book had potential, but the caveat was that it needed a lot of work. Who knew there were rules I had to follow-pesky little things like I can’t head hop or move back and forth between past, present and future unless I want to completely frustrate the reader.
I love writing in first person, but I tend to babble and combine memories and future events with the person talking in real time. This is a huge challenge for the editors because I want to write in a way that sometimes foreshadows, but presents the events real time.
Fortunately for the beta editor, my last book was in third person and apparently I color inside the lines a bit better in third person. I’m just glad that Affinity hasn’t kicked me off the Island yet. My mentor, Erin and the beta editor, Kay patiently explains where I’ve violated a rule or made it difficult for the reader to follow and I attempt to fix it. Sometimes I’m as compliant as a minion and sometimes I do it kicking and screaming and it takes a Skype call to my mentor to calm me down. Thank God for Erin and her patient, compassionate style. Love that woman (not in a romantic kind of way cause I’m married), but as a lifelong friend who gives freely of her time and expertise.
I suppose I should thank my mother who was an English teacher because she was able to instill a few grammar rules into my stubborn head. I do know the difference between they’re, there, and their. I might add it bugs me when I read a book and the author does not know the difference.
Fortunately for me, there are some readers out there who describe my color outside the lines style as:
“The way this story was told is so original.”
“This story is not only truly entertaining, but delightfully ingenious.”
“What a breath of fresh air.”
For my second novel, because I wrote it in third person, the originality theme was replaced with comments about it being fast paced, easy to read, a page-turner and an outcry for a sequel. Since there weren’t comments about original style, I concluded that my coloring outside the lines was limited to first person.
Locked Inside, my third novel that comes out in December is first person…so I suppose readers can once again look forward to a bit of unconventional reading. I am stubborn, so I suspect I will NEVER give up on coloring outside the lines, but I will listen to editors because as my wife so eloquently put it: “The edited version of your book is so much better.”
A link to the first chapter of my new book, Asset Management: First Chapter of Asset Management,. My first novel, Love Forever, Live Forever, is available in both e-book and print format. Links below will get you to all the places you can purchase the book. Keep scrolling down for the links to Asset Management. Thanks for supporting a new writer!!
Here are the links to Asset Management: