This month, I’m wrapping up my new mystery novel, the first in a series of three—or four, depending on whether I die first from my head exploding.
It has taken me a long time to get the hang of this fiction writing thing. I know how to write non-fiction. I know how to outline, how to research a subject thoroughly. I know all about criminals, police tactics and crime scenes.
But, fiction is a whole ‘nother animal. I had to learn about dialogue, making something believable, how to set the scene, have dramatic tension, ask WHY, WHY, WHY, how to explain something without sounding preachy, and give depth to my characters. After all…I did choose to write fiction….
So, I took some classes. I met some people. I spent money on editing. (And why does everyone expect a poor, starving writer to spend money to make money? How does that help the writer become better? It helps all those other folks make money, but does it help the starving writer?) I spent time with marketers and business people who are now writers—all in the hopes of enlightenment.
The only thing that all of these classes, advice, and yes, shelling out money, did for me, was help me become a better writer. It allowed me to give myself permission to make the space and spend time in my head. It made me sit down and write, write, and write some more. Whether the prose was good or bad, whether I deleted five pages of sweat stained action, I wrote every day and sometimes all day. And then I go do the laundry, vacuum, clean, and get ready for Halloween, now Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc., etc., etc. Writing first!
Now that I’ve finished the first novel, and are in the throes of the 200th edit (no exaggeration-okay maybe more than 200 edits), I am ecstatic about writing the next novel in this series. I want to see what is going to happen to my characters next. I’ve already begun the second book, outline is not so tight, and it is going much better this time. The writing is crisp and I don’t need to worry so much about the back story. I learned how to have a character who can be hurt, who can be complex, and who is the person that I want to become.
Hence, the title of this blog: “I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO HURT HER FEELINGS.”
In this first book, I had to make painful things happen to my character to give her the depth readers expect. I struggled with making her not so nice. I put so much of my personality into every character in the book I felt like if I hurt them, I was hurting me. I had to remind myself every day that it’s not me, it’s them that all of these things are happening to.
So, for all the agony of getting through this first piece, I still don’t want anyone else to hurt her feelings. It’s my life, it’s my character, so don’t be mad if she’s not exactly like you, the reader. Don’t hurt her through me with mean comments. Enjoy the read and write something nice about it, or don’t write at all. I will always read your new works and rate them high. I now understand the struggle. And, I will post the launch date as soon as I know. Thanks for listening.