Welcome all dreamers, fantasists, bibliophiles, and romantics. Join me Mondays and Fridays for speculation about other worlds, exploration of the human heart and soul in fiction and fact, sojourns in history and science, advice and tidbits in the realms of story, and thoughts on everything in between...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Growing as a Writer

It’s a really nice feeling to go back and reread a manuscript from years ago and realize it’s worse than what I write now. There’s a story I’ve worked on off and on for seven years. It’s the story I’m most passionate about and I hope someday finds a good home with a publisher. Meanwhile, I’m working on other books and building a resume of novels I hope, in the long run, help get this book published. But every once in a while, I have to return to it.

Until then, I’ll rework it, and it’s nice to know that I’ve improved in the following ways:

  1. I tell less and am better about showing what’s going on in the story.
  2. I have a much better idea how to write an enticing opening.
  3. These days, I have a better idea of how to knock out unnecessary words and information. That one is largely due to my critique partner, Jessi Gage. Thanks, Jessi!

So if you need inspiration, go back and reread something you wrote a few years ago and see how much better you’ve gotten. Or, if you don’t write, find something you started doing or learning years before and see how you’ve improved.


  1. Always happy to offer my opinion:) Thanks for putting up with my brutal compassion.

    I think it's also important to remember that the best writers are people who read and study the medium and genre they write in. You can write excellent poetry or essay or short story but not know how to pull off a high-octane beginning for a paranormal romance or a first chapter urban fantasy with just the right amount of backstory sprinkled in. It takes lots of reading to understand what sells.

    You were always a talented writer. You're just growing in how you're able to hone your skill to make is marketable for a specific audience. Some people call that selling out. I call it wise and disciplined.

    You've got what it takes, girl, and that includes the determination to see this writing career through to its completion.

    1. Thanks for you support and encouragement, Jessi. And you have a very good point. Genre differences matter. One can be fantastic in one genre and need a lot of improving in another.