How You Write What You Write Matters

sunflower dress girl

 

The most important reason why I write was achieved this week. A scene from my novel, Passage of Promise, evoked enough emotion to bring tears to the eyes of two of my critiquers and moved three others. This is why I write. To touch the hearts of my readers through relating and connecting to my characters and the story.

 

how you write matters

 

~*~*~*~

 

WIP Joys

cropped-kaleidoscope-imagery-beauty-imagination-words-best-describe-retro-childhood-favorite-light-glass-work-42754517.jpg

Friends, I finish up running Passage of Promise, my novel through the critique group next week. The feedback I’ve gotten through my critique group has been incredibly invaluable. Then I’ll set it aside a week or two before doing a last read through and submitting it to my editor.

A week ago, I finished up all the new scenes in my novella, Mourning Dove. This, too, is ready to go through the critique queue, but it will have to wait for its turn.

As for my WIP, What She Didn’t Know? I LOVE the sisters (three main characters in the story). I love writing their POVs, their personalities. I really feel these characters are the strongest characters I’ve fleshed out as of yet. Here’s a very rough draft (not polished, obviously)…something I just wrote really quickly in order to put it through the critique queue in a couple of weeks, so you get the idea of what this story I’m working on is about:

Three sisters, Michaela, Glory, and Seraphima, grew up with an alcoholic, abusive father. Glory, who was most abused, runs away from home and isn’t seen by her mother or sisters for ten years. Their mother, Etta, wants her daughters, Michaela and Seraphima, to find Glory. Etta has a secret she’s kept from Glory and her sisters and feels it is time to tell Glory before something happens to her (Etta’s rather a hypochondriac). For each of the sisters, their childhood trauma/events affects how they are now living as adults. But when a terrible car crash happens and lives are hanging in the balance, will Glory ever learn the secret? Will she and her sisters ever heal from their estrangement and mistakes with those close to them? Only one can save them from themselves.

I’m guessing I’ve got about five to ten chapters to go to cross the finish line of a first draft. I’ve revised and edited the existing chapters at least three or four times now. The feedback I’ll get from my critique group will really help to improve and hone this awesome story. đŸ™‚

 

~*~*~*~

 

 

Writing Much, Despite Reading Struggles

Fragonard painting of woman reading

(painted by Jean-Honoré Fragonard)

Over the past couple of years, I’ve read many fellow authors’ declarations of being avid readers when they were children. That they would sneak a book under their covers and get in another few precious moments of reading exciting books before their parents would remind them to go to sleep.

Others would talk about remembering reading at a very early age and loving it throughout their childhood into their adult years. This dedication and love of reading books led them to write books themselves. And this seems to make a whole lot of sense. You read a lot, you get ideas, and you naturally write with these inspirational stories having primed the creative pump in your imaginative brain.

But this wasn’t my experience.

At times I feel both sad and amazed that my writing journey is not the usual, logical path of my fellow writers. I’m an anomaly of sorts. I truly believe it.

I grew up hating to read. As early as I can remember, I had little interest in books, other than to look at the colorful pictures and at times, listen to my dad or a teacher read a story to me and my fellow students.

young girl reading book

Reading had been a struggle for me, a lot of hard work. By mid grade school age, it was discovered I had reading comprehension problems. When my dad wasn’t away on a case (he was a lawyer and a judge in the Air Force), he’d spend an hour or so a night sitting with me on the couch, listening to me read aloud one of the classics in large, vivid books with plenty of pictures, but with age-appropriate, tough words.

I remember agonizing through reading each sentence. It was so laborious–a tremendous mental work akin to the hard, physical work of pushing a heavy rock up a steep hill. But Dad kept encouraging me, guiding me along, patiently working with me for about three years (around fourth to sixth grade).

I went into junior high school still struggling to a certain extent, with little interest in reading, let alone learning. This was my academic path throughout high school, as well.

But something had changed. I did read a few assigned books in my English literature class in eleventh grade, and when I a sophomore, I fell in love with the North & South TV mini-series and ended up reading the first two books in the series. Also, when I was eighteen and nineteen, I read the whole eight-volume series of the Kent Family Chronicles (both series written by John Jakes).

I think, perhaps, watching TV and movies helped me create my stories in lieu of reading. I’ve always been a visual learner.

As for gaining an interest in learning, it wasn’t until I went to business college a couple of years after graduating high school, that I was ready to learn and wanted to learn.

But here’s the unbelievable part of my journey.

Throughout all of my struggles with reading, I wrote all the time with little effort, from second grade all the way through my teens and early twenties before putting it aside when I married and had children.

As you know, if you read any of my older blog posts, I returned to writing in 2014, and it felt so good to be back where I believe I belonged.

How could a child, a young girl, a woman, write stories with plots, decent sentence structures, spelling, some stories over a hundred pages in length, but rarely ever pick up a book until her late teens, early twenties?

It’s a tiny miracle to me.

shining bright light of miracles

This tiny miracle tells me this is my talent, God’s gift to me.

I finally realized this only about two years ago. It hit me like a refreshing, cool breeze on a warm spring day. And I’m so glad it did. Since my early twenties, I’ve been reading and continue to read many, many books.

 

~*~*~*~