15 February 2017

A Big Leap

As I said a few posts back, I’ve decided to make some changes in my writing life. The first step was to reach out to other authors and learn more about my craft. I’ve joined the Catholic Writer’s Guild, and their resources have been invaluable to me.

Now, I’m about to take the second step.

Moving forward with my third book, I am hiring a professional company to format my manuscript and a professional editor. This is not just a step, it is giant leap, pushing me beyond hobby to career—part-time career, maybe, but career, nevertheless.

I’ve already contacted a company who will do the formatting and cover for Incorruptible. They’ve accepted me as a client, and I am excited.

Today, I have contacted a professional editor/proofreader. At this writing, I am waiting to see if she will take me on as a client. Keep your fingers crossed! I have done my research, and she is my first choice to edit my work.

Stay tuned . . . 

08 February 2017

Into the Minds of Characters and People

 “She sees the world as she is, Anna, not how it really is." This is a quote from Charlie, a character in Corruptible, my novella.
Every now and then, a quote comes to me in my writing that is filled with truth. This quote is one of them, and it turns out to be one of my favorites. It is a short quote, but it says a lot about a character, and a reader might read through it quickly without paying much attention. But when I wrote it, it was well thought-out and deliberate.
And it is something I believe myself. In fact, Anna replies with, “Well, maybe we all do.”
I have an analytical mind, and I try to figure people out—what motivates them. It works well for writing fiction. It helps me get into the minds of my characters. If you don’t know your character’s motivation, you may end up writing flat, one dimensional characters instead of complex characters with many layers. People are complicated, so are well-written characters. That is what I strive for.
But, having an analytical mind in real life is not as helpful. I tend to over analyze things, wondering, why did she say that, or why did he do that. Then I move into, I would never treat someone that way. That is when I have to take a step back and realize that I, too, am looking at the world as I am. And it becomes a delicate balancing act.
Bitterness.
Anger.
Suspicion.
Self-absorption.
Deceit.
Kindness.
Cheerfulness.
Honesty.
Thoughtfulness.
Compassion.
Where do these traits come from? Some, I imagine, come from life experiences. But why do some people experience a tremendous amount of suffering and remain kind, cheerful, thoughtful, compassionate, and honest, while some people experience very little suffering and hold on to bitterness, anger, suspicion and self-absorption? Some traits must come from personality. I imagine it is different with each individual. But I have found that those that offer bitterness and anger to the world around them, most likely don’t like themselves very much. It is an internal struggle that seeps out into the world around them.
In the writing life, it helps me get into the minds of characters I have very little in common with. In the real world, it is a reminder to take a self-inventory every now and then, just to be sure I’m not harboring bad feelings, ready to be unleashed into the world on an unsuspecting soul. 

02 February 2017

A First Step

In my last blog entry, I stated that I wanted to surround myself with fellow authors. The first step I’ve taken to that end is to join The Catholic Writer’s Guild. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’ve been putting it off for a few reasons, but I finally did it. I applied for membership.

One of my future goals is to apply to the Guild for A Seal of Approval for Vocation. I would like to see if Vocation meets the standards set by the Guild as a book that supports Catholic beliefs and values. If it does pass the criteria, I would be able to offer copies of the book to Catholic book stores for sale.

I’ve come to a point in my writing career to realize that I need to branch out beyond my local market. There is an audience out there for Catholic fiction, I just need to tap into the market.

When you are an independent author, you are your own agent. You really have to believe in yourself in order to sell your work. Connecting with other authors, who support you, can be very beneficial, and for me it is time to make that commitment. I have reached out to other authors, one-on-one, but now it is time to reach out on a greater scale. It is time to take pride in my writing, and take the leap into a bigger pond. And I am proud of Vocation, and I want to get it out to more readers.

As I see it, I have two major handicaps to overcome—being and independent author and an author of Catholic fiction. I don’t have an agent to sell my books, and I am writing books in a genre that is limiting. But the simple fact is I write what I write, and I believe with more knowledge and more confidence, I will one day find my readers.

 It is small step, but that's how it all begins, isn't it.