I met Elizabeth through the blog-o-sphere. She has been very helpful to me during moments of stress. She is very dedicated to her family and her writing and I am pleased to have her on my blog today! Elizabeth has great advice to share with writers of all types, so make sure you check out her blog for more. So without further ado, here is Elizabeth.
Changes in Writing
I’d like to thank Anastasia for the honors in being her guest today!
My name is Elizabeth Mueller. I’ve been writing for as long as I remember. I write into the night while the kidlets snooze or when they are out to school. I love to help others in beta reading, critiquing, bouncing ideas (brainstorming and philosophizing are my weaknesses!), and just about anything writerly.
Today, I’m posting about a particular struggle I have as a writer.
One thing that I do—which I believe is the bane for many writers—is every time I finish a how-to book on writing, and after I apply it, my writing changes. My book was thin, starving and gasping for rich oxygenated imagination. Well, I was able to apply the correct techniques to get it closer to publication, but I had to find a happy medium so that it wouldn’t stifle my creativity.
After reading a book on writing, I wrote an entire novel (Rock Star). I was so excited to get it all out. I finished at only 26, 442 words, approximately 109 pages. How bad is that? I remember as I wrote, I was so careful to apply the rules of dialogue—keeping it snappy, lively and natural. I also applied the speech tags: Editors/publishers, for the most part, like the ‘said’ word rather than their exotic synonyms. I had also learned about infodumping. That was my biggest downfall! My scenes were short and choppy. I didn’t go into character or setting description for fear of infodumping.
Yes, I was very frustrated with my book and confused on how I could fuse my newly acquired knowledge with my writing. I tucked it away and wrote an entirely different novel. After submitting Rock Star to my critique group, I was ready to fix it.
I grew a lot 2 novels later when I got back to Rock Star. I was able to apply the learned rules, plus more, without hurting it. Now it is 115,220 words, 371 pages! I’m slowly editing my novel and will submit it pretty soon. I’m so thrilled to do this!
Have you found that about your work, when you’ve just learned new writing rules? That it makes you write so differently, it almost feels forced? Stifling? How do you cope with it?
Anastasia, thank you for letting me share my passion for writing with your lovely followers!