W is for WORK!! Writing is a ton of work, especially when you're a kind of a perfectionist. I don't know about any of you but when I write, I write a section in my head over and over before I even put pen to paper. And yes, I put pen to paper. I have a hard time sleeping so at night I will lie in bed constructing a scene over and over in my mind. I work dialog again and again until I feel like I have the scene perfect. THEN I will write it down in my manuscript's notebook. Writing things down let's me see what needs fixing or things I can add or take away, so my margins fill up pretty quickly. Finally I type everything up, and it all goes through what I call the smoothing and polishing stage. So by the time my pages are typed up, they have gone through seven or eight rounds of edits. It's a crazy process, but it works for me.
Trying to catch up so I'm going to keep going...
X is for eXceptional support. Yes, it's a stretch, but it's true. Writers, especially first time writers, need so much support. We rely on our friends and family for all kinds of help, whether it's a late night cup of coffee when we're on a roll (Thanks honey!) or our pleas for criticism when someone reads our work. These people keep us going when all we want to do is tear our manuscript to pieces or give up or just sit and cry.
I have several of these people that I use for different things. My husband to be reads my work, fetches my Starbucks, gives me a hug and tells me I'm awesome when I don't think I am...basically the man keeps me going and knows every twist and turn in my world second only to me. I use him as a sounding board, and anytime I'm stuck we talk it out until I have it all worked out. When he reads my manuscript, he gives me insight on "Hey, if this happens later, you could maybe hint at it here..."
Two of my best friends read my work and can always be counted on for some great criticism. I love it when I get my work back from them and it's literally bleeding red ink. These women read more than anyone else I know, and more importantly, they read quite heavily in the genre I write in. They know crap, and they aren't afraid to point out the stink in anything they read. They have called me out when something I write sucks, so when they tell me what I wrote is great, I know they're being sincere. When they read my novel, I get a little better idea of what the fresh reader will think. They are familiar with the characters and some of the general plot lines, but they don't know what major plot twists lie ahead. For this, and so much more, I love them.
Finally, I have a very dear friend who is also an aspiring author. She reads my chapters as I finish them and gives me great feedback as a fresh pair of eyes. I haven't told her any real details of what's coming in the novels, so when she reads she has the kinds of questions that a new reader would have. I love this and though my novel is confusing because I feed it to her a chapter at a time, she keeps reading and always gives me feedback. Lady, you know who you are, and you're awesome.
To all of my eXceptional support system, I love you and I thank you for keeping me going.
Only two more letters to go and I'll have finished (late but finished) my first blogging challege.