Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday morning chuckle: Are you a Princess Author?

This morning began with a chuckle, as I read through The Book Designer's post about The Princess Author Syndrome. This singular author, male or female, exhibits the classic 'love me, take care of me" outlook on life, and is aghast at any hint of real work ahead. 

Drew Coffman, "Writers Block I" (Flickr)

Like any stereotype that gives comfort, the Princess Author simply wants his or her writing to be loved. Judith Briles' article, written from an editor's point of view, suggests that many authors don't really want to edit, revise, and re-vision their novels. My own experience in talking with other aspiring authors suggests that many times, she's right. 

A related but sharp contrast can be found in Karen Pashley's post, "Six Ways You Can Prepare Yourself and Your Manuscript for Success." I appreciated her thoughtful and practical suggestions on inspiration, networking, saving your work, entering contests, practicing your pitch, and managing your writing time with that old 80/20 rule (80 minutes of real writing/20 minutes devoted to all else). Pashley highlights the 'how to' that helps us move past that 'Princess Author' syndrome.

My favorite tip from Karen:  When your writing jogs to a complete stop, take a break to read a little writing from one of your favorite authors -- just enough to appreciate again his or her flair for storytelling. Then, get back to your own writing, refreshed and inspired by a writer you admire, or as Karen says, ". . . where words flow without self getting in their way, and where I again find my voice."

So, did I write any this morning? Yes, a little scene here, questions about a relationship there, a breakthrough on a key plot hole, and this rough, rough draft of Rivers of Stone advances.

People do ask me all the time if I pay an editor. At present, no. Maybe at some point, I will try an external editor. I do benefit immensely from the creative critters at NOVELS-L at The Internet Writing Workshop, an online draft exchange that works at the chapter level. But first I must have a good draft. That's at the heart of what I'm about this year.

Drew Coffman, "Writers Block II" (Flickr)

So, if you write, do you use a professional editor? Which ideas from Karen Pashley's article do you find most inspiring? Finally, how forgiving are you of an occasional typo when you are reading?