My favorite writers’ conference is coming up this weekend. And lucky me, I get to go this year. Three days of surrounding myself with likeminded, crazy people is very therapeutic.
I love listening to experts talk about writing and the publishing industry. Though, over the years, I’ve learn to take everything I hear with a “grain of salt.” From one expert to the next you’ll get varying answers on the dos and don’ts of getting published. Even the industry itself can’t make up its mind. That’s what you get when working in a creative industry. Whether something is good or bad comes down to someone’s opinion, or a style of writing that might be popular at the moment.
Unfortunately, it took a while for me to figure that out. Those first drafts of my stories read like schizophrenic patients, the flow and feel of the words changing with every rule told to me. At one point I feared to use the word “was”, because a good writer would never use it, oh, or “ly” words. Think about all the books you’ve read. Can you name one that’s doesn’t have one “was” in it or an “ly” word? I can’t.
That’s when I woke up, took a breath, and stopped blindly ingesting everything I’m told as law. Writing is all about being creative. Yes, using less “was(s)” will force you to use better verbs, but sometimes “Jeeves” the “was” or that “ly” word in my story is what feels best. That’s when my novel RORY’S CHOICE really began to have a voice of it’s own, and became a book worth publishing.