I never knew how much I had to learn until I--a self-proclaimed know-it-all--started writing on a serious daily level. Thank goodness for RWA online classes and those conducted by state and online branches. What they taught me was invaluable. In fact, I'm taking one on deep point of view as a refresher course. After all, a writer's learning curve is continual.
Before I start a new book, I read over those basics.
I need to plot more. Gone are the days where I can just type Chapter One and keep on going, making up names and characters as I go along. My "beginner's luck" has run out. Now I need to display more professionalism. Plan. Get my GMC straight for both the hero and heroine. Nail down the basic plot. I've yet to reach the place where I list the main points of each chapter, but I do have a clearer vision of the storyline.
Frankly, I'd sooner be writing. But, we have to keep our media platform strong and our brand (our writing names) in front of readers. I'm still learning how to do that. And darn it, as soon as I get a grasp on things, they become passé and something else is all the rage. Meanwhile, this ol' dawg keeps limping along.
But I've learned for the sake of my husband's happiness and my health, I need to balance my time better. I need to stop and smell the roses. In short, I need to be Vonnie, the person, more often and give Vonnie, the writer, a mental rest.
I'm still perfecting my opening hook. My characters need more development, especially my heroines. Sometimes my plots, like my hips, are too heavy. My endings need more emotion and resolution. ACK! The list goes on.
Basically, I've learned to keep on learning, experimenting, and deleting. Not only do I write a shitty first draft, but the second and third have a foul odor, too. As Hemingway said, "Writing is rewriting." I'm going to have to use the patience word here, aren't I? I've got to patiently fiddle with my manuscript until I work out the kinks, the faults.
FIRST, I'VE GOT TO IDENTIFY AND FACE MY FAULTS!
A writer needs to realize there's an unattainable goal ahead of her or him. It's called perfection. Few of us, if any, will reach it. For what one reader adores, another refers to as "Meh."
So I've learned I can't write to please everyone. It'll never happen. My goal? Write to please myself and my editor.
neon orange among the pretty yellow four and five stars will have to shine on.
We all enjoy reading different things written in various styles. But, please, please let my stories be well-written.
What have you learned in your writing career?