The online diary of a dreamer creating Contemporary Romantic Fiction - because Every Woman needs Love and Laughter in her Life.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

More words from the wise

Tess Gerritsen* had an interesting topic on her blog recently re: the fear of losing everything she has worked for overnight and the effects this may well have on her writing. The compulsion with security keeps her hungry and fighting to write a better book, and achieve better sales.

Kyle Kerr ** began his comment to this blog entry as follows:

'During the Maui Writers Retreat, John Lescroart made a really great speech…
He says that, during the writing process, there are two different modes an author goes into. When she’s writing the first draft, the author is in “Genius Mode,” where everything she writes is flecked with gold and diamonds.
Then, when it comes time for editing and revision, she enters “Idiot Mode,” where the author realizes that what she had first taken for gold and diamonds is actually pyrite and kitty litter. It’s the worst thing she’s ever seen, let alone written herself

These two comments made me think long and hard about my own writing, and whether I am hungry ENOUGH, working hard ENOUGH, focusing enough on writing the very best book I can possibly write with every scrap of talent I can bring to the words.

I am editing and rewriting at the moment, and know that I need to rewrite most of the opening first chapters to focus on the heroine and her internal conflict.

There are diamonds among the cat litter. But who wants to sort through cat litter? I do. I have to. This is the work. Needs to be done. Will be done.

Melissa James *** writes at least six drafts of her work, each one focusing on another layer of the work. This may well be the technique that works for me, starting with a 'discovery draft' in Genius Mode, then the flip side where I need to spend serious time being an Idiot.

Only good times ahead.

** Go here for Kyle's website , and

*here for Tess Gerritsen's blog and

***here for Melissa James article

What's playing on my YouTube right now? The movie soundtrack to Pan's Labyrinth.


Leigh Russell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leigh Russell said...

The problem I have is knowing when something is 'finished'. I don't ever feel my prose writing is 'perfect'. I could tinker with it endlessly. So I tend to write, revise once after a day or so, and then leave it alone. Otherwise I could go on endlessly and I think it might stop being fun. I write very quickly and tend not to agonise over it too much. I just enjoy writing so much, but I think I'm still in a honeymoon period. I only started about nine months ago, and haven't yet been able to stop! Drop by my blog some time - it would be nice to hear back from you.

Leigh Russell said...

Sorry - I managed to post my last comment twice, hence the deletion.

liz fenwick said...

Interesting I am now if the tenth rewrite of one book I am hoping that it will be less for the next! However having said that I do find I have a different focus each rewrite - can't seem to multi task on revision....damn :-)