Saturday, July 23, 2016

Learning to Write Novels

Earlier in the week I was chided a bit by fellow SFF7 peeps for saying I learned to write novels by writing them. And reading them. And watching movies. And reading comic books.

Sorry, folks, that's my story! I was born with a LOT of imagination. I've been writing since I was a little kid and I write the kind of stories I wanted to read. The more I read, the more I knew what I wanted in my own books - bands of warrior brothers who would do anything for each other and the women they loved, science fiction adventures, romance, ancient Egypt, blasters, family connections, strong heroines, mystical events and powers, paranormal happenings....well, probably not all in one book of course!

I also got to know what I didn't want - no cliffhangers, no endless series of books where the heroine basically reboots with each new book and it's like the previous episodes never happened. I remember Cherry Ames, RN being particularly bad about this. No unhappy endings.

Along the way I received incredible support and encouragement from my family and friends, to keep telling stories for them...

Fortunately for me, there seem to be wonderful readers out there who enjoy the same elements in the books they read as I do. I've been able to share thirteen books and some assorted short stories to date. Book #fourteen is coming back to me from the developmental editor on Monday and I'll be sending her the next STAR CRUISE story.

If we're talking about the craft of writing novels, well of course I've had to learn about show vs. tell, head hopping, pacing, foreshadowing, character stage business, data dumps and too much backstory, and all the rest of the techniques, much as any other author should if they want to be turning out a quality book for readers. I have great editors, I've read a lot of excellent craft posts, I've been to a few workshops in my day...I probably made every craft-related mistake there is along the way to publication (and no doubt am still committing a few but hopefully my editors help me weed them out of the drafts).

When I had my author photo taken, the photographer asked me what I wanted to convey. And I said, I want to look as if we're sitting at the kitchen table together and wow, do I have a good story to tell. That's my goal!

1 comment:

  1. From your pictures, I'd wager we like a lot of the same movies!