Thursday, November 2, 2017

Those Special Stories

As writers, we sometimes get a story that feels like a gift from the Gods.  It lands in our lap, almost fully baked, and all we have to do is mix up the ingredients and we have a beautiful finished product.

I recently had a book like that.  I wrote it, I wept, I rejoiced, I was proud.  This book was something, I tell you.  I turned it in, my editor loved it, my agent love it, the line editor, the copy editor, all loved it.  I can't wait for people to read it.

Not.  Every. Book.  Is.  Like.  This.

I wish it was.  I promise you.

After I turned in that book, Full of confidence, I began the next.  It started off well and I was pumped. Maybe magical fairy dust had hit my muse and writing would be smooth sailing from now on, rather than occasional torture.  I wrote away, la la la.  And then stuff happened in the real world, I came crashing down, and writing was back to being work rather than "art".  I'm not saying this story won't be good, just that it's not easy.  I want it to be, oh how I want it to be, but it's not.

Writing is like that.  Non-writers think writing is easy, like we just sit down and gemstones and gold pour from our fingertips.  I wish.  Take a single sentence, write it, then think of several other ways it could be said, with different words, and rewrite it.  And again.  And Again.  And there you have my job.  Word by word, sentence by sentence, until you have a finished book.  A story.

It's all worth it in the end though.  I wouldn't trade my job for the world.  I keep on and keep on and every now and then, I get a gift book.  The rest, hard as they might be to write, are worth it.

Writing is sometimes like magic.  Most times not.  It's work, real work. Like everything else.


  1. Isn't it the truth, though? I had one book that wrote that easily and though, like you, I'd found the yellow brick road. Didn't happen. :-)

  2. You are so right, Karen. Writing is not easy. In my 38 books I've had one novel and one novella that were easy. All the rest, blood, sweat, and tears. Congratulations on your "gimme" book. I bet it will be well received.


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