I’ve embarked on another round of revisions on my novel and you know what makes me nervous? Keeps the word doc closed? Lends to procrastination? Makes me write blog posts instead of clicking track changes?
Sometimes I forget I like — no, love — my book! I forget my affection for the characters, the setting, the twists and turns, the thimble full of romance, the private jokes in plain sight — and the ending.
It’s not always easy to admit you love something about yourself, a creation of your own making. But it’s the critical part of the writing process that we can let slip — but shouldn’t.
You must love the ones you’re with.
I think sometimes in writing women’s fiction we can get very caught up in what it’s all about. The theme, the lesson, (drumroll please…) the arcs — both character and plot. And I have found that in getting caught up we can get bogged down. Creating bigness is critical — but details are what drive great women’s fiction. The details are what make readers love what they read — writers what they write.
I don’t usually read a book and think or say, “Gee whiz, that universal theme of self-acceptance hooked me on page one” or “Dagnabbit, the arc of that protagonist really had me intrigued.”
Nope, I don’t. What I think might mean that, but it’s the details that embrace me and add up to a great reading and writing experience.
So, in order to fall back in love with my old friends in my novel, I am focusing on a few little things without even attaching their meaning. Just remembering these, and smiling, meant I was itching to wake up Monday morning, brew a pot of Folgers, pull back my bangs into a hair clip and away from my eyes and get started. I knew the rest would just happen and it did.
These are the details I dug up for myself about Evie, my main character. These things mean something within the context of the novel, but even without their literary baggage, these tidbits are enough to make me smile — and remember.
Evie bakes classic cookies with a twist, has a master’s degree in United States history and can tell how tall a man is when he walks through a doorway.
😀 See? I’m smiling. These are details that remind me of more things which in turn remind me of more which makes me very excited to get to work on my revisions. So I do, and I find even more. Totally If You Give A Mouse A Cookie for the writer set.
I sometimes forget what I had for breakfast (French toast with strawberries on Sunday, a peanut butter sandwich on Monday, thankyouverymuch) — but I don’t ever want to forget any details — or my love — for my story.
Because if I don’t love it, chances are no one else will either.
And I need to remember that too.
Would you share a few things you love about your story or characters? Keep it simple. Nothing deep. No explanations. Just details that will make you — and all of us — smile. 🙂