The air is crisp in the mornings. This morning’s pages were blunt, moving things along in the story with an aim to put flesh on them later. I have paused to reflect on the page but they’re simply breaths taken before I ramp things up again. Later on, I will go back to my notes and the story grid, make sure that I am hitting the right points in the story. I don’t like to leave anything half-finished. This morning was a scene that blended the external and internal plot lines, a confrontation that will serve as a catharsis of sorts, but hopefully won’t kill the momentum. If it does, I’ll cut or put the scene somewhere else.
This evening, I will be editing Until She Sings, there are some large pieces of work coming up. Much like the others, it is a matter of the language rather than the story. I’ve always made sure that the story works first and foremost. It would be like trying to build a house and starting from the roof. So, there is work, but it’s more refinement than construction. I sometimes struggle but it comes together in the end.
Previously, I’ve just followed an idea or an image down, then worked out what I wanted to say in subsequent drafts. I would excavate the story from what I had written down.With Lawful Evil, I used Shawn Coyne’s The Story Grid to help me make sense of what I needed to look for. There is still space to be surprised, and I don’t post excerpts because it would be out of context. When it is ready, I will share it. You deserve work that has had my full intention and attention paid to it. My excitement and pleasure as a writer comes from completed, considered work. When I’ve said what I needed to say, then you can read it. It is important because there will be a time when I am asking you to potentially pay to read my books. Here, will always be free because I want a space to talk about things. and I’m not doing that at the expense of chasing for people to read it. I feel a sting sometimes when I post writing, and no one sees it, but I figure that it’s here now and people who visit will find interest in my older work.
I have considered columnist opportunities or articles but it’s a matter of time commitment for me. The priority is always the book, but it would be god to have other avenues to get my writing out there. I am not an essayist, but I can apply myself to different types of writing. I am planning on getting hold of play transcripts as I would enjoy the experience of trying one, without necessarily trying to get it performed. I find that studying different styles and textures of storytelling informs and educates me on what is possible. The outliers are interesting in literature, as much because they can define what you are not, as much as what you are. It’s the same with politics, but, to quote Toni Morrison, I don’t write ‘-ist novels.’. There’s too much nuance in the world to deny any of it a place at the table. If your story deals with racism or gender hatred, and your characters express it, then you owe it to the reader to do so unstintingly and honestly. Caricature, unless stated at the outset(in spirit at least), is insulting to the reader. It is not condoning the behaviour, merely examining it in the interest of the story.
Story is what matters. I write for women, but they are not a monolithic bloc of tastes and preferences. I tell them stories and look to tell them with as much passion and craft as is available to me. I made it my purpose to do so.
I derive great and sustainable joy from writing, from working towards my goals and the satisfaction of finishing books, then returning to refine them. The simple scratch of pencil on paper, the dance of my fingers across the keys, that’s a thing of wonder to me. I want to share that with whoever wants to read my work.
Thank you for reading. Please leave comments and questions below.