I’ve been a-broodin’ on this with respect to my writing and I’ve come to the conclusion some rules are gnarly little habits and deserve to be broken.
It all started with my finding a critique partner. Yay! Fresh Eyes!! I’ve now got someone to look through my pre-edited drafts and point out my wordy habits. We’ve all got them and we’re blind to them. Because they’re habits you see, gnarly habits to be broken. It saves my editor some hair she no longer needs to pull out of her head.
And I help my critique partner the same way—pointing out her blind spots. We’re putting the P in Partner, we sure are! Pissing all those gnarly habits good-bye. (Can I say ‘piss?’ Is that an okay word to use?)
My new critique partner is very by-the-book and it’s a good thing. She’s got the eye of an eagle. It’s a bad thing, too, though. Some of her rules are rules she’s learned from writing-to-sell and genre expectation workshops. Like, if you’re writing in a particular genre, this, this and this must be included. I get that. If you’re writing a zombie book, there should be a couple of zombies in it, right?
But then there are other rules I’m not too attached to. I call them Formula Rules.
For example, if you’re writing a romance, the hero and heroine MUST meet within the first three pages of the novel. Really? Why? I mean, WHY?
And the crazy thing is, I was going to buy into that particular rule. I got all caught up in my critique partner’s enthusiasm for getting it all right so your book will sell like hotcakes.
It wasn’t until I had a little chat with my editor I realized I’d lost myself…again. I do that at times. Get all caught up in someone’s stuff. I do it more than I like, frankly.
I’m working on that particular gnarly life habit.
But I digress…
I chose to be an independent author and self-publish so I could tell my stories the way I want to tell my stories (sans gnarly habits, of course.) I want to be a Story Chef. I want to know my ingredients so well I can cook without a recipe. We don’t want no stinkin’ recipe for words. No formula story, thank you very much.
Hey…I’m likin’ this metaphor… I’m goin’ with it…
A good cook follows the recipe. A great cook follows the recipe and doesn’t burn the meal. A chef has gone beyond the recipe.
I wanna be a chef.
Hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July celebration. I feel the need to watch Independence Day where Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum kick some alien booty. Saw fireworks for the first time in a long time without fog. They were beautiful. Our puppies were safe in their crates. We put blankets over them so they could be in cozy dark dens. They appreciated it.
I leave you with a view of The Mountain from Mr. Al’s new fishing spot…
And the full moon at dawn…
And all my books published thus far!
Have a great week, Peeps!!