Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday Writerly Ways ~ Taking up the Gauntlet

This week on my blogs I've been talking about challenges, in case you hadn't notice. On Tuesday, I used the word challenge and compared it to Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Taking up the challenge to be an author and what it takes.

Imagine if you will, you are a medieval knight on a crusade to conquer the dragon, a fierce, fire breathing beast set on burning or devouring anything its path. That's you sitting astride the horse in heavy armor, lance in your hand and sword at your side.

Your crusade
  • to write
  • to edit
  • to find an agent
  • to get a publisher
Your goal is to protect hearth and home. Knowing they are secure by your actions. Seems pretty lofty and daunting doesn't it?

The challenges or obstacles:

To Write
There are several things you need to write before you even start your story.
  • The kernel- the basic idea of the story whether it be an idea or question that needs to be answered. For my current WIP (work in progress)- What if you looked at the things you do during recovery as humor instead of woe for abilities you've lost?
  • The talent and creativity- knowledge of how to get the words to play well with each  other to support the kernel. This can be the hardest part even with extensive knowledge of the subject. It is also one of the things that I love about writing and one of the most challenging.
  • Figuring out the beginning, middle, and the end.
  • The time to get it all on paper or in your computer. Stolen moments where you work towards your dreams or goals. IMHO (in my humble opinion) If you aren't working towards your dreams or goals, you are just taking up space. You will be forever discontented. 
  • It takes a lot of words to carry your point across and complete your manuscript. Is your kernel strong enough? In my case, forty short stories and growing.
To Edit
Perchance to publish.
  • This gets tricky because it based on your knowledge and your knowledge may NOT be correct.
  • Having other eyes to catch mistakes be it a critique group or hire an editor.
  • It has to perfect or nearly perfect to get an agent or publisher. They get millions of submissions a year. Yours has GOT to stand out.
  • Don't be in a life long commitment to what you wrote the way you wrote it. You may love it and others hate it.
  • Can your take constructive criticism? Have you got a thick enough skin? Better at this stage than when the public gives it. The readers are your livelihood. They put the margarine on your bread and ask for more.
Getting an agent and publisher are mute points if you plan on indie publishing as I did. But, to go indie the first two points need to be spot on. The readers of indie published books hold the writer to a higher standard than traditionally published authors. After all, there is no middle man to blame.

Are you ready to gird your armor, face the dragon, and take up the gauntlet?


Keep writing and loving the Lord.



2 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

I love comparing it to a knight fighting a dragon. I totally need armor for querying.

J.L. Murphey said...

Sara,
Yes you do. AND for the rewriting process ahead when you get a publisher.