Thursday, February 9, 2012

Re-inventing the wheel

I have this strange and overpowering urge to rewrite the first five books I ever had published. Will I? Probably not, but the urge is still there. Why?
I think the reason I feel this need is because I keep learning; I keep growing in my abilities as an author. I recently went to a workshop led by Mary Buckham, an awesome motivator/speaker. What I learned most from her was that I needed to revisit my skills. See - everything she told us I basically knew but have I been implementing it? Well - after her session, I realized I'd gotten lazy in my writing. I hadn't meant to.

But then, I see this with some of my favorite authors as well. Craft that is drilled into fledging authors and unpublished authors seeking that first contract is often overlooked by some of the New York bestsellers. Did they mean to start their novel with back story? Probably not, but sometimes it's easier to ignor the more difficulty rules that make a story stronger. But as Mary pointed out, the authors who continue to gain followers do so because they "hook" the reader from page one all the way to the end.

It's all about the hooks. Making sure hooks are in place throughout the story and at well placed intervals is not easy. Easy is just plowing forward without thought to hooks, showing vs telling, or active vs passive. Hard is making sure the writing flows seamlessly with all the bells and whistles that make an engaging story a page turner.

4 comments:

Big Mike said...

I'll add to the list: author intrusion, character evolution, turmoil, realistic perspective, 5 eyes, etc. Never heard of this stuff on the first book, but boy do I live in that world now.

I have a DVD called "So you want to write a novel?" and one thing I suggest is go back after about your third project and compare the quality of the first with the last. You'll be amazed at the difference.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
(Author of the year, 2008 % 2009)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

More than lazy, we can become complacent. Nothing like a little rejection to send a writer back to the mother board.

January Bain said...

Yes, that is what it is all about, growing as a writer and getting better at it all the time!

Jude Johnson said...

I never knew the formal terms for what hooked me into a book, but I knew that's how I wanted to write. And with each book I work harder to improve. Thanks for a timely post!

~Jude
http://jude-johnson.com