When I first got into this writing racket – the blissfully ignorant stage – there were plenty of moments when I embraced my keyboard and my fingers would fly. “Writing Hot” was what I called it, and it came with a wonderful high. I quickly learned, however, that most of my pages back then were garbage, so I started learning craft. Character archetypes, code of story, conflict, dialogue, emotional resonance, flashback, formatting, grammar, hooks, introspection, motivation, narrative, pacing, plotting, POV, story and character logic, tactile detail, tone, voice – the list seemed endless. But I was nothing if not persistent in learning and then incorporating these lessons into my prose. So now I’m a seasoned veteran, but surprisingly most of my pages are still garbage. Huh? How can that be?
Before I can attempt to answer that burning question, I feel I must first clarify the term “garbage”. Garbage in the blissfully ignorant stage might best be categorized as illiterate, whereas garbage in the seasoned veteran stage is, in a nutshell, overworked. So what then is the next stage of development in the life of a writer that can eliminate the word garbage, in any definition, from use when describing manuscript pages? In fairness, I can only speculate as I have not personally reached this elusive stage, but I have surmised that it involves combining blissfulness with craft knowledge.
Okay . . . so what exactly is my plan for accomplishing this? I’ve decided I need to push my inner editor into the background and let my youthful exuberance back out of the genie bottle. It’s time I trust – and I mean really trust – that the Girls in the Basement will do their job and subconsciously guide my fingers in both storytelling and craft as they once again fly with abandon across the keyboard. And what better platform for this exercise than participating in a Book in a Month write-a-thon? Perhaps by the beginning of next month, I will not only have a completed first draft (of my second draft), but I will have entered the next stage in my writing life – that of a professional novelist. Keep you posted.
For those interested in BIAM (Book in a Month) you can participate twice a year by friending Anne-Marie Kolaski Novark on FB or contacting her at, Anne Marie’s April Madness/October Obsession BIAM Writathons
Lorinda Peake wrote her first ditty when she was ten on an English seashore while visiting her British grandmother. From then on, her family either acted in or were treated to plays, skits, or commercial spoofs. In school, she wrote poetry, fables and short stories.
Years later, she tossed down a particularly bad novel and thought, “I could do at least that well.” She’s been pursuing the elusive published novel ever since. Recently, she joined a group of fellow writers who decided to cajole, bully, encourage, and sometimes baby each other along towards the publishing goal by setting real and measurable writing objectives with “motivational” consequences for non-attainment.
Lorinda loves a good romance – all the more if it is wrapped in a great fantasy setting. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her husband of 34 years.