Monthly Archives: January 2014

THE WRITE ZONE: Dylan Thomas

A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.” - Dylan Thomas

Have you ever read a great book like that? Have you ever been involved in a story that’s so compelling it begins to breathe a life of its own. And it possesses you. Long after you’ve finished the story, you’ll remember it.The characters became so real, you wanted them to remain in your life. Instead you were left with a hollow void until you found another book. But that one didn’t capture your soul, so you tossed it aside and searched for another one. There’s always that hope the author will write a sequel so that all those characters live again.

I had that experience with the early writings of Jude Deveraux when she created the Montgomery clan. I’d finish one story and could hardly wait to read about another Montgomery. Jude made me laugh out loud with their antics. As an author, her words jumped out and stirred my emotions. I fell in love with all of her characters.

There’s always a fire in my own soul as my fingers touch the keyboard. I want to believe I’m creating something as magical and as profound as some of the books I’ve read in my lifetime. I tell myself, even if it’s only one page; one page that my readers will find inspirational and unforgettable, I’ll be happy. But I’m deluding myself. One page isn’t good enough.

The truth is, the story I created and spent sleepless nights over wasn’t perfect. My heart was in the right place, but the words staring back at me on paper were silent. I couldn’t hear them.

The initial creation of the plot may have come easily but having my character come to life took a lot longer. I had to become the heroine, feel her pain, walk with her through her nightmares and fall in-love with the man she was afraid to trust. I had to see her visions and understand how she believed she was going insane. I had to feel the world I created was as real as my own.

All writers will strive for the same perfection.  But soon you’ll  recognize that your passion for writing isn’t enough. There won’t be just one draft or even 5. You’ll lose count. Then, you’ll feel like tearing them all up and start over again. Learn this lesson now. It will never be perfect in your own eyes. If you’re lucky enough to find a publisher, you can lose what little confidence you had in the story when you see all the comments and changes. Especially if there’s more red than black on the page. I felt like a child when the publisher held my hand and walked me through it. Then I  became an adult again.

And the good news is that no matter how many times you’ll feel insecure, you’ll never stop writing. You couldn’t even if you tried.  It’s what makes us a special breed. No matter how many rejections, you’ll keep at it until one magical day, you’ll see your book in print. I’m waiting for that myself.

Until next time, Stay in the Write Zone.

 

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THE WRITE ZONE: A Writers’ World

“A writer never has a vacation.  For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” – Eugene Ionesco.

I wake up in the morning and all I want to do is write. Before I fall asleep I think about what I’ve written or what I want to write about next. Even when I’m away from home, I notice people and wonder what kind of character he or she’d  make for my next story. Places I visit are recreated into magical kingdoms.

All my life I’ve existed in that kind of world and sometimes it made it difficult for me to fit into the real one You know, the one where non-writers live. But one day I realized I didn’t have to fit into anyone else’s world. They’d merely have to fit into mine.

I surround myself with great, loving and supportive friends. I also hang out with Elvis fanatics, like myself. Who else could understand that kind of passion for the man and his music? I’ve even connected with other Elvis lovers on Pinterest. Once  I start pinning pictures of Elvis on my board, I can’t seem to stop. I’ll tell you now, it’s very addicting.

Sometimes even the greatest friends won’t be able to relate to you, the writer. So isn’t it wonderful that we have writers groups, book clubs and writers conferences? Life itself is a never ending learning process. And we can never stop learning from each other. Every book I read, fictional or non-fictional, is a tool to help make me a better writer. All the time invested in social media will also help in this ever changing craft. Hopefully, all that time and effort will make a difference in selling your book. It’s all going to be so time consuming that you’ll want to skip it all.

It’s so much easier for us to live in our own little world behind our computer creating fictional characters. So much easier for us not to accept that movie or dinner invitation. So what if we miss the next club house dance?  But in the end, it’s all a learning experience and more importantly, a priceless new memory of times you’ve shared with those friends that were kind enough to ”remember you exist” despite your preference for solitude. Savor that experience and that joy you had with them. Why  limit ourselves to only one world? Be brave and experience both. Learn from all of it.

Until next time, stay in the Write Zone.

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THE WRITE ZONE: Doubt Kills More Dreams Than Failure Ever Will

When I first joined Florida Writers Association I was a closet writer in the worst way anyone can imagine. I wouldn’t allow anyone to read my writing and was deathly afraid of rejection, ridicule, and failure..

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to throw my hands up in the air and just give up. What’s wrong with just writing for my own pleasure? So what if I’ve had cases full of stories that I’ve never submitted? What if I’m not good enough? WHAT IF?

And then when I found FWA and connected with some great people, I was inspired by them, by their creativity and most of all by their perseverance. They suffered through the same doubts, but they didn’t allow that to stop them from moving ahead.

My first breakthrough was starting a personal blog: www.dundaswriter.blogspot.com. Although I had only a handful of followers, it didn’t matter.  I actually felt more comfortable knowing only a few people would get a peek at the other side of my soul. Again, I was writing for myself more than for an audience. Then I abruptly stopped it. Truthfully, I’m surprised Google didn’t close me down. It’s still there.

Now with my novel, “A Stolen Destiny” launching in April of this year, I sometimes wish I could revamp it, change the plot; anything to keep it out of the general public’s scrutiny. What if nobody likes it? What if I’m not a good enough? What if it’s a failure?

The truth is not everyone will like my first book, but there’s always a chance they’ll like my second or my third. I can’t allow myself to stop writing or learning more about my craft.

At the end of 2013 I created this website and blog. I feel as if I’ve jumped over the moon. I’m so excited about this new journey.Yes, I will shamefully promote my books on it, but I hope it can also be used as a tool for novice writers as well as an inspiration for them.

So if there are any new writers out there, contact me if you’d like to be a guest blogger and share some of your own writing tips or writing experiences. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

STAY IN THE WRITE ZONE

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