Saturday, July 7, 2012

Writing problems by Barbara Edwards

I've been moody.

My writing sucks. I’ve fallen into the writer’s trap of listening to others describe their successful methods. Every writer I know, myself included, has a terrible self-image. Of course someone else writes better or faster and sells more books. My failing is that I believed there must be a better way.  
Look at their huge daily word count. WooHoo, Copy how they do it and succeed.
Join the group speed writing a book in a month. Tada.  Didn’t quite make it.
Take a class on becoming a plotter. Great class, great teacher, lots of good info and a week away from my manuscript.
Use your muse to be a pantster. Freed my creative side, played like a child, took bubble baths, walked near the water. Focused on my writing as I fell asleep to bring my imagination into action. Found it all to be another way to avoid writing today.
Funny how I’ve tripped over this problem so many times. When my story grows slowly, I get impatient. I
want it to spring onto the page. I realized I am a detail oriented writer. I want to end the day with a readable piece of work. I know where I’m going in a vague kind of way. If I plot in detail, I feel locked in. And stymied.
I write better in the morning and getting interrupted by life throws me off-stride. Who are those lucky people who carry a pad with them and write during the kid’s soccer game?
How about those authors vomiting a dozen books a year? Awk. Naw, those are shorts, not like my ninety thousand words from start to finish.
That’s my other wasted effort. I tried to write a short. Get on the band wagon with lots of sales. Well, my mind doesn’t fit into that groove.
I need to remember I write the way I write because it works for me.
Do you want to share your creativity killer?
Check my website: for more.

In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.
Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.
In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.

Legend gave him many names, but the wide halls of his mountain retreat no longer echoed with countless worshipers. He could have ruled the world had his ambition not died with the passage of time. The endless whispers were from the cold winds and the few praying priests. He didn’t care that he couldn’t remember his real name or birthplace.
For an eon he’d regretted the loss of softer emotions. Love had been the first feeling to die, along with the woman who had insisted he would never harm her. He couldn’t recall her features just the merry tinkle of her laughter and the bright smile she had greeted him with every morning. He licked his lips. She’d tasted sweet.
Fierce need flared in his gut and he sniffed the air. Outside his chamber a single acolyte in long brown robes waited to escort him. His mouth curved with a mirthless smile. The silent servants had ignited the flickering wall torches. Shadows jumped and shivered in the drafty halls like nervous virgins.

Barbara Edwards
The Wild Rose Press: Ancient Awakening, a Black Rose
Ancient Blood


Jannine Gallant said...

It's so true, Barbara, that everyone has their own unique way of writing. You can't force yourself into someone else's mold. And if you're lucky, your habits will evolve to become more productive as you realize what works and doesn't work for you. I may not write 5000 words a day, but the 1000 (on a good day LOL) that I do write are keepers. I edit (obsessively) as I write, and when I type "the end", it's actually pretty darn close to the end product. That's what works for me, and others are probably cringing as they read this. Great post, and wishing you much luck getting back into your unique grove.

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Jannine,
You sound like your writing style is similar to mine. Accepting my way as normal for me has been wonderfully helpful.

Alison Henderson said...

I completely understand your frustration, Barbara. I'm learning more about my process over time and coming to accept that I'll never be a fast or enormously prolific writer. I have a busy life, and my story has to gel first or I'll pay later. I also edit as I go, which slows me down. However, I have a really hard time moving forward unless I'm happy with what I've written. I guess Nora has nothing to worry about from me.

glenys said...

Barbara - I feel your pain! I,too, have looked for answers from other people's work, and had to face the fact that each of us has our own way of doing things. We need to put a value on our writing and to find our own working pattern. Comparing ourselves to others - I recently read about a writer, a very good writer, who turns out 10,000 words a day. Yep,I was depressed after that! Keep on writing your wonderful books and stay on your own path.

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Alison,
My frustration has eased since I realized I need to write 'my' way.
Nora isn't worried about me either.

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Glenys,
I need to learn to stop looking for the magic formula. Sigh. Putting butt in chair and writing takes time. No 10,000 words a day for me, either. Thanks for the nice words.