Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bring You to the Writing Table

I bet you thought this was about food and eating, didn't you? Not so. This is about writing and what you, as a writer, bring to the table for reader fare.

We all have pieces within us, as people, that are stronger and more appealing to readers--some skill sets, some experiences that strengthen our manuscripts.


Info Bit: When I started writing, I came to the Writing Table with Stories and Characterization (this according to my first editor). Looking back, she was right. I've always been able to churn stories--Dad was a storyteller, so maybe I picked up bits. He was a Verbal Storyteller. I am not. If Writers are lucky, they are both, because PR is essential. I belong to the Reclusive/Introvert Club when it comes to writing. :) Therefore, I am not prone to retreats or sessions or writers groups, though they are advantageous to many writers.

Personal Traits are on the Table Fare, too. If you are not a self-starter, need a guide, that's fine. But energetic writers, self-starters typically do better.

More Important Personal Traits: Regimented? Determined? Goal Setting? Handle a Calendar? Able to Multitask?

Info Bit: So I naturally (inside me) had the Stories/Lots of them and a grip of Characterization. Not a clue about Plotting--that little demon. Since starting, I've studied almost every plotting method possible. FWIW: I started with my first editor's direction: One paragraph per chapter, Build, MidPoint, Round Off, etc.

In my current WIPs, the Basket Series, I bring a whole lot of myself, my personal experiences. Rethinking this: In all my books, I bring experiences, i.e. How I Would Feel If? Selecting Friends, Animals, Perceptions, Who is Kind and Who is Not Likely to be my best bud, etc. A huge portion of my books are Simply Me. (That's scary, isn't it? :)

In the Basket Series, my past homemaking, sewing, canning, raising garden, working to create, home remodeling, raising a family, husband, etc. Life in a small town and the characters living in it, friends or foe/gossipers, etc. all comes out. I know what I'm talking about. Also, Nora is expecting in The Basket Maker's Wife, I understand that because I've had 3 daughters. She's tall, I know that. She fears, I know that. In The Egg Basket--yes, I've raised chickens, did the farm woman thing, made butter, bottle fed calves.


 Now, here's where the If/Then comes in to smack you: I have NOT had some of the experiences, like weaving a basket, so plenty of research on that one and others. You fill in what you do not know.

Experiencing the LOCATION is a necessity for me, like when I drove the Oregon Trail for Night Fire, or driving the gold trails, throwing that tomahawk. So I'm usually doing it--no sex jokes, please. We're so beyond that.

One Really Important Characteristic/Experience for you to consider: If you are overloaded in your personal life, the usual--kids, obligations, heavy duty job--I suggest not taking on an endless project, i.e. a detailed murder mystery.

And The Reason Is: Writers need assurances, pats on the back, affirmations of some kind. Look at your skill sets, who you are, what is your place in life, and create The Masterpiece that is your affirmation. Most of all, COMPLETE SAID MASTERPIECE. Completion is the best reward, good or bad--you did it, kid. :) That's your graduation certificate: a completed novella, stort story, novel, non-fiction piece.

That's it for now. We all have something unique to offer readers, or simply to satisfy ourselves. What do you bring to the Writing Table?

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