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  • January 22nd, 2009 | 5:46 PM
Letter to my author self

Dear Author who thinks she wants to write this book,

Maybe you should just give up on Flyboy's story. Again. I mean, really, what is this problem you have whenever there are two people who need to appear in the same scene? What are you so afraid of?

I'd say go to work on Max or Plant Kid but you've already proved that you have the same problem every time. You're fine as long as the main character is talking to himself or dealing with the world around him but bring one more person into the scene and you freeze up. Your characters turn into wooden puppets that would be better used as kindling than interesting page turning characters. Just because you're a super shy introverted loner who is afraid to talk to people in real life doesn't mean you need to model all your characters in the same mold. Come on, big yawn there, don't you think?

Don't you know that you need conflict and conflict is going to come from interaction with other characters?

Don't you know that you can write pages and pages of crappy non-usable stuff that can be deleted later.

Can't you remember what it was like to be a teenager anymore? Sure, there was lots of angst but there were lots of thing going on all around you too. People at school. People at home. People at the grocery store.

Why are you so afraid to put people in your book?

That other Susan, the one that DOES want to write this book
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 8 comments — Leave comment )
January 23rd, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
send her to bed...
the other Susan, that is.

This Susan needs to spill her guts and she doesn't want an audience, let alone a critic.

January 23rd, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Re: send her to bed...
How right you are.

She also needs some uninterrupted time at the computer and the dog is not cooperating with that. I think a doggie door is in our future. I don't like them but sanity might take first dibs.
January 23rd, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
How about...
...a studio door.

"Mommy's busy right now!"

But dogs. They do need SO MUCH assistance in basics of their function....

"OK. I'm leaving this gift out side your door."
January 24th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)
Re: How about...
Trouble is, the only door to the backyard is IN my office. Sigh. I do think we'll check out doggie doors.
January 23rd, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Susan, I'm shy of commenting since I've only just read Hugging the Rock, which I thought was wonderful. (I went right out to read it after I discovered your note about the index cards, and your blog in general.) But can I say, very gently, that I think the Other Susan is being too harsh? It's so difficult writing early drafts, but I believe absolutely that in time the woodenness will go. You are terrific at writing about relationships, and in time you will find ways to write those scenes that feel so impossible now.
January 24th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for popping up with a comment. I appreciate the kind words and the support.

The other Susan is often harsh so it is nice to have the words of others pointing out what has worked for them in my novel.

Thank you.
January 23rd, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Having done NaNoWriMo without any intention of ever doing so, because it seemed kind of stupid to me, I have to say - there is something about just giving yourself a word count goal and pedaling full speed ahead, knowing that you don't have to keep what you write. I think it freed something up in me.

I will say that revisions later were somewhat difficult, however.

I always enjoy your letters and I loved Hugging the Rock and I know you can do this. Just keep writing and the voice will emerge. The characters will figure out how to cope with each other too.
(Deleted comment)
January 24th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
Thanks for the support. It's just so hard to do it, to just let go, but I know you're right. I'm doing the Feb version of a mini nano over at onegrapeshy hoping it will kick me in the rear and over the hump.

I adore revising, once I finally have something on the bloody page. :)
( 8 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
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