As a new author, my goal with this blog is to help other writers, and I decided that I want to start by adding some valuable information from other authors.
My first guest author, we have Sara Creasy joining us to talk about her writing process. First, Sara, I want to congratulate you on your first release, Song of Scarabaeus. I also want to thank you for stopping by to discuss your writing process with us. I know many aspiring writers and authors will be able to relate. Welcome, Sara.
Hi everyone, and thanks Dawn for inviting me to guest blog. This has been an exciting few days for me, with my debut science fiction romance novel Song of Scarabaeus hitting the shelves on 27th April. Today I mailed off a few copies to various friends, and the postal clerk got excited when he realized the name on the book was the same as the name on the return address label. “This is your book?” What a wonderful feeling, when a complete stranger shares your excitement!
Dawn asked me to talk about my writing process. As writers, we all have different hurdles to overcome as we churn out those words. For me, it took a long time to realize that my day job was holding me back. For many years I worked as a text book editor, and I loved it. Editors have a different relationship to words than writers do. Writers, of course, need to wear their editing hat at certain points in the process – it’s a learned skill that I recommend any writer cultivates. But for me, my editing hat was attached to my head with superglue, and that wasn’t conducive to creative writing. That was my hurdle.
I would agonize for hours over a single paragraph while my inner editor berated me for writing such awful prose. No wonder it took me years to complete a first draft. It’s difficult to keep writing when you’re so unhappy with what you’ve already written. For people like me, it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to revise every sentence a dozen times before moving on, only to go back ten pages a few minutes later and fiddle again.
The key, I realized, was to clearly delineate the writing and editing stages of the process. First drafts are supposed to be awful, and completely unfit for another’s eyes. (Seriously, don’t show your first draft to anyone!) So take off that editing hat, get your first draft down, and know you will come back later to wrestle it into shape.
This is something I’m still learning to do. The inner editor dies hard! To some extent, you have to stop caring so much about the writing and instead focus on the story that’s bursting to get out of your imagination and onto the page. When I force myself to just keep going, I often find that when I read over the work the next day, it’s really a lot better than I thought at the time. It’s less labored, more natural, more exciting, more genuine. And it’s words on the page, which means it’s that much closer to “The End.”
I’ve written a few writing and editing articles on my blog, http://www.saracreasy.blogspot.com/, for anyone interested in more tips.
Thank you, Sara. And thank you to our readers for visiting and feel free to comment or ask questions.
Below is a blurb of Sara’s debut novel, Song of Scarabaeus. You can buy Sara's novel at all the usual places, including Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, etc.Sara's website is http://www.saracreasy.com/
Blurb: Song of Scarabaeus
The best cypherteck in the galaxy, Edie can reinvent planets with little more than a thought. Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, her mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she's not entirely sure it's a bad thing… until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn—a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn's side, he dies. If she doesn't cooperate, the pirates will kill them both. But Edie's abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she'll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure… a world called Scarabaeus.
Thanks again for stopping by...
Not An Angel, May 12, 2010