The Process of a Story
This story was so easy to write, I churned it out in around two weeks and never struggled to know what the hero wanted, what the heroine wanted, and what the conflict was. I love it when stories flow like this. It’s like their energy is clear and concise and perfectly channeled—and it is a gift, as a writer, when a book turns out to be so fun! But not all books are good boys. Some are bad, bad boys, and I still have no clue as to why some are more difficult than others.
When I began as a reader, I couldn’t fathom how all my favorite writers – Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught—could create such words that just sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. Within years, I was so enamored of my authors and their books that I was determined to become an author myself. So at fifteen I sat down to write my first book.
It was a disaster!
It was called “The Emerald Lady” and about a highway woman with (can you guess the color eyes she had? Please? Anyone? J) yes, she had pretty eyes, and she stole from this lordly lord who caught her, kissed her, and when she escaped, he vowed to find her and do wicked things with her. But I only made it to chapter three and then I had no clue what would happen next.
So then I came up with “Desperate Lies” a story about a race car driver in jail, and a heroine who was an heiress and lived a faked life, and I was so certain I was going to reach the end, when my husband (back then, my boyfriend) had a business meeting in New York, I begged him to take a red rose to the agent of my dreams, Nancy Yost, with a tag that read: Desperate Lies. And my name and address.
I was ecstatic when she requested a partial. I was only seventeen and thought, “wow, if I can do this at seventeen, imagine what I’ll do at twenty!”
And did stuff, I did! I married, had babies, and couldn’t write for years.
But anyway, I sent my partial to the wonderful Nancy Yost and she came back with a really nice reply, but of course I now wonder why she didn’t outright demand I never, ever, contact her again. My pages were so wrong, but back then, I thought I was brilliant!
In any case, I got married young and had to put my writing dreams on the back burner for years, only to begin a couple of years later writing short stories, because those long books I could never seem to finish. It really helped! Writing short made me see a short arc of a story, and how the all have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it made me concentrate on what was important. You can’t fill a short story with fluff. It needs to have the most basic premises, conflicts, because it will never stand if you ramble on and on. I won’t ever regret starting like this!
I also took tons of writing classes, where I met a lot of writers who have become great friends.
During these past years that I’ve been actively writing, I have to say that you gain confidence in your voice, in what you want to say, and your ability to say it. This confidence is priceless. But most priceless of all, I believe, is experience. They say practice is perfect and I seriously believe that’s true.
So for any aspiring authors out there, I really hope you never quit. Even when I’ve had my worst doubts, deep down, I’m always that little girl thinking she’s the bomb, sending a flower to a top NY agent thinking, “Wow, this woman is going to be so excited I contacted her!” Hahah. I wish all of you have that cheerleader inside of you. Because this business is TOUGH. You will get rejected maybe ten or twenty times before you get accepted. And even when you get accepted, you still get edits that tear your heart apart and put you right back to the grindstone. You need to love what you do, and be sure of your value, so that any rejection will always be taken as a learning stone, and then be shaken aside as you plod on.
When I got my rejections, I used to wonder if Judith or Julie or Jude ever got one, and I’m still not sure whether they did or didn’t, but I am definitely glad that if things got tough, they still kept on writing.
Are you an aspiring writer? How has your road been so far? Are you published already? Then how was your road to get there? And for those readers out there, maybe you’d like to say something nice to one of your favorite authors? Our muses totally feed on your kind words! So feel free to say something about why you like a particular author’s books so much. I’d love to hear!
And please check out Claimed by Him at your local bookstore, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, and if you do, don’t forget to check out the contest page on my website. You could win a Kindle Fire or a Nook, winner’s choice!
Thanks for stopping by!
CLAIMED BY HIM
Graves Buchanan has had to climb farther and higher than any of his friends, singlehandedly becoming a billionaire in less than two decades, with no education to speak of, and with a rotten poor childhood in the streets. He likes sex the way he learned it; animal, raw and without any strings attached. He doesn’t even do kissing, and he doesn’t like to be touched. But even as fucked-up as he is, he cares deeply for his best friend’s baby sister, Chloe Lexington. But Chloe is an heiress, a ‘princess’, and no matter how much he wants her, Graves doesn’t think he has it in him to handle a girl like her.
But Chloe is not going to take no for an answer. She’s been warned against Graves by her brother, Daniel, and against all of his eccentric billionaire friends, but Chloe has merely been biding her time. Now that she’s almost twenty-five, she’s determined to have the man she’s always wanted, even if it means using jealousy as an incentive.
But Graves isn’t allowed to allow any of his friends set a hand on Chloe. This stubborn billionaire is now going to have to do something he'd never thought he'd do, and he's going to have to claim his girl once and for all.