A very special thanks to Jeana Mann http://jeanaemann.net/ for a smooth hand-off and to the lovely Collette Cameron for today's questions. https://www.facebook.com/collette.cameron
1. How do you respond to someone calling your writing smut or demeaning your work in some other way?
When you announce to the world that you’re a writer, comments abound and run the range from how wonderful, all the way to is this a joke? Which doesn’t bode well for a writer’s self-image, but it does go with the territory.
If your goal is to write, fiction or otherwise, it’s an uphill battle and the motivation must come from you, not your family, not your friends, not even from that college professor who thought you were his shining star twenty years ago. When you write for yourself it’s easier to slough-off the demeaning comments. I just put my head down, take a deep breath, and write. And I’m stubborn, that helps.
My family is incredibly supportive, but with that said, they don’t understand why it’s taking so darn long to get out this first book. Nor do they understand why I’ve written a second outline and the first three chapters of another book before finishing the first, and I don’t even mention the third one that’s rolling around like pinballs in my head. I don’t explain. I smile, nod and just write.
- When critiquing or beta reading, do you ever find the voice of the other author creeping into your writing?
Oh, wow, I hope not. It is a problem that every writer encounters at some point. When I critique, the writer has me at the first sentence, or for sure by the end of the first paragraph, and I’m all in. I hear their voice. That’s not to say I love that voice, or that cadence, or lack thereof, but I’m sucked in, good or bad. It’s common for beta readers to suggest changes based on how they would write the story, especially if they harbor a secret desire to write. But those of us who do this every day, study our craft, anguish over our daily 500 or if we’re lucky 2,000 written words, understand there are many ways to tell a story and many wonderful voices in the world.
A good critique from an experienced writer is golden. They pick out things a novice can’t and they’re not afraid to jerk you into reality and tell you point blank that the scene you love and think is so important to your story isn’t working. They don’t worry about hurting your feelings. Writers are busy and have little time for soft-pedaling.
Good critique partners tell the good as well as the bad, and your skin needs to be leather thick in this business. Besides, you can toss out anything that doesn’t work. If the writer’s smart, that’s exactly what she or he does.
- What’s one quirky thing you do or must have around you while writing?
I have two dogs, a Bichon and a Standard Poodle. I write five to six hours a day and they’re always in my office. Buttons and Jasper are loyal, quiet and very, very patient. If for some reason they mosey to
another part of the house while I’m writing, something seems off and I can’t concentrate. And, okay, I have quirky music playing. I listen to a collection of Hemi Sync metamusic. It blocks out the life sounds around me and takes me to a place where I’m convinced I can communicate with my muse. If I get stuck, I change metamusic and like magic, the words begin to flow again. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but I’m completely addicted.
Follow me. I’m going to swing back around to the awesome Jo Richardson, author of Cursed be the Wicked and so many, many more great romance novels. Check out her website and have fun getting to know the sexy Cooper Shaw.