Thursday, December 1, 2011

advice 11

Hyatt thinks that readers, and maybe other writers, too, would be interested in learning what obstacles an author faces in the process of writing a novel.  What are the challenges?  How does it feel to be rejected?  How to keep going when you feel like quitting--and how to deal with writer's block or getting negative review.  Well let's look at that list.  The obstacles I face are more to do with home and family than anything else.  I'd love to have an office where I could close the door and put a do-not-disturb sign on the knob, and have everyone in the household recognize and respect that I genuinely do not want to be disturbed.  And that this is IMPORTANT.  Then, too, by the same token, I need to respect my own time more, and exercise more self-discipline so that I really earn the respect I crave.
As for being rejected, the best advice is to remember that it is the story as it is that is being rejected, not the author personally.  The thing to do is to improve the work and move on to the next publisher.  I've been doing that for several years with Angels in the Flames, so I know what I'm talking about here.
Keeping going when you feel like quitting.  I haven't been there yet.  I never feel like quitting.  I'm definitely not a quitter. 
Writer's block?  That's a terrible excuse for not writing.  I just work on a different part of the story until something gives me an idea for the spot I had to leave alone for a while.  I interview the characters.  I revisit (physically if possible, or in my imagination) the setting of the story--drawing a map of the area, describing it for myself in all the most vivid details I can muster. I list possible directions, playing "what if"....  As for a negative review--in a critique group or in suite 101, I simply consider the source:  If the reviewer knows more about the subject than I do, then I'll give it serious consideration. If not, then I consider the intent of the reviewer--Is the person trying to be helpful or destructive.  If helpful, I'll look again at the work.  If destructive, I do my best to ignore it.  Of course, I get my feelings hurt, but I get over it.

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