Monday, March 29, 2010
The Learning Curve
I've learned some things the last few days. Writing is a difficult business. Okay, I already knew that, but it gets harder, and can be downright frustrating at times. And people may love your writing, but are not so keen on your subject matter. And people may love your book, but there's this one scene or one character that doesn't quite fit.
So how many people do you listen to? And how much of your novel are you willing to change before saying, I'm not sure about that?
Take Lockdown for instance. Originally I had each chapter named after whose POV (that's point of view for you non writers) it was from. I had a couple people tell me that if your characters are drawn well enough, you won't need to do that.
So, what did I do? I did some revisions, made each voice a little more distinctive, and cut out the chapter names. I mean, I didn't want to look like an amateur. I enter ABNA, I'm ousted from ABNA. I post my excerpt right here on my blog, and more than a couple people told me, I should have named the chapters after the characters, that it's been done before in this book and that book, and though I figured out who was talking, it wouldn't have been so confusing at the beginning when I was learning the voices.
Okay, I'm not saying that the initial critiques were wrong. I'm saying, you can't please everyone. You have to take critiques with a grain of salt. It's like wine tasting, you take them in, swirl them around in your head a little, look at the positives and the negatives, then decide what appeals to you. What works with your style, your voice.
As far as Lockdown goes, I've decided to revise, major. But, not until I finish Cheesy, which is going to go a different direction than I initially intended.
Okay, that is all. I may not be able to blog much this week. I'll try but make no promises. If you don't hear from me, have a wonderful week, in the words of my friend Owen, be great, and catch you on the flip side.
My Dad. He's awesome.
John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney