Whew! I’ve finished this round of revisions on The Glass Wives and when my kickin’ critique partner winds her way through the rest of my chapters, I’ll be ready to send it off to my agent again. I know it’s even a better book than it was before. I also know that I could not have written this book, this way, before now.
Here are some of my biggest lessons, whether remembered or learned, while writing the zillionth version of my novel.
- No reaction is too big. (Huge lesson. Demure has no place in women’s fiction)
- No problem is unsolvable. (You know why? It’s FICTION!)
- No situation is unthinkable. (See above, just make it believable.)
- No character is always safe. (No bungee-jumping necessary; emotional risks are equally as scary, and perfect for women’s fiction.)
- No character is always right. (Because we hate that person.)
- No character is always wrong. (Because we pity that person.)
- The answer, the ending and the right word are like your keys, often in the last place you look — or in your Flip Dictionary. (Lose your keys? Read a book. They’ll turn right up. Lost a word? Take a drive. You get it, right? Distract yourself.)
- Less is more. (Give your readers credit. If they’re reading you, they’re smart!)
- Endings can be overwritten and overwrought. (Keep It Simple!)
- When your CP says “you might not need this” — you probably don’t. (Ok, you definitely don’t, and you have a diplomatic CP!)
And while I was rearranging scenes and chapters and writing new scenes and chapters, learning Scrivener and working on various paying gigs in my editing and social media consulting lives, I was also starting this blog. Yes, three months ago I pressed “publish” on the first Women’s Fiction Writers post. And wow – have we come a long way, baby!
And just like with the revisions on my manuscript, I could not have started this particular site in this way at any other time but right now. Things happen when they’re supposed to, I think. Or when they happen, we think, okie doke, I’ll work with that, and it becomes the right time. Either way, this has been a joy ride! We have had so many great conversations here, so many wonderful women’s fiction authors have shared their words and wit and wisdom. And since the blog is booked through 2011 — I’ve decided to add a few more interviews per month. So watch for that. And while I get a groupie rush discovering authors by chance on my own (better than a shiny penny heads up, absolutely), I want to know who you’d like to see on the blog in the future. Leave a name or names (and links if you have it) in the comments and I promise to check ’em all out — but I can’t promise more than that. The rest is up to karma and scheduling.
I’ve had review requests, and frankly, I don’t want this to turn into a review blog. I know that I have written about books and authors often but I try to do it in the context of what I liked and what I learned from the writing and the story. It can be an old book or a new book, it just has to be a book that I consider to be women’s fiction and an author that I admire for one of the umpteen reasons that I admire authors.
For the time being, traditionally published authors are being featured here (with one or two exceptions) because I am interested in traditional publishing and in being traditionally published. This may change – but for now – that’s the scoopage on that.
Some of you have emailed me with suggestions for future posts and I love those because – well – the well isn’t always full, you know? So keep ’em coming.
And now, with my revisions finished…I’m off to revisit the WIP, currently titled Lying to Izzy Lane. Let’s hope I take all my lessons with me as I discover and write Izzy’s story!