As a writer, I read books the genres of my books. One can learn from other writers by observing how they use descriptions, write dialogue and progress their storyline.
I am not saying to copy what they are doing. But you can learn different ways to word things or set up plots and dialogue. One can also look at the scene or character development. There is so much one can soak in just from reading books, especially books in the same genres as yours.
While there are some written rules, everyone has their flare. Some people love doing long flowery descriptions. I don’t and am not a fan of it. I can appreciate the effort done by the writer if it is masterful.
As a writer, one is always learning to improve one’s craft, just like any other profession.
If this exercise helps improve my manuscript and delivers a well-written book for my readers, well, that is worth the time and effort. I am always looking for ways to make my books a better reading experience. By doing so, they may want to read more of my works.
I received some good news recently. A publisher has picked up one of my manuscripts which is part of the Squirrel Mafia series.
I don’t have a working title and need to gather pictures for the book like I did with the first one.
Writing Squirrel Mafia vol. 1 was such a fun book to write as I implored people to look at my POV when it came to squirrels. These animals are not cute, cuddly, or as wonderful as people might think they are.
But they kept on giving me more information and ammo. I suppose, as I took down notes and realized soon that there was enough material to write yet another book on the subject.
I had someone two days ago who said, “ I never understood your massive hatred for squirrels. But then I went down your way, saw them, and had interactions with them to realize I understood what you were going on for so long.
Finally, someone has crossed over to my thinking. LOL
In one section of the new book, you will discover what mushrooms do to them, as well as many more chapters on their antics.
Who knows? Maybe they will give me enough new material that I will be able to write the third installment of this series. And as of now, I have six ideas for chapters.
I know I giggled when I opened the acceptance letter up. It does not get old when a publisher accepts your manuscript.
When you are exercising, do you hydrate? When your car is overheating, do you add water to the radiator? If it is cold in the house, do you leave the windows open?
When people in your beta or critique group layout suggestions, do you pay attention? Do you ignore what you are hearing? Do you put up a strong front knowing full well the critique is off base?
One example that comes to mind happened a few years ago at my writing group. The group of like-minded people told me I needed to strip two chapters out of my book.
I was shocked. I knew inside that was not going to happen.
I know my characters, I know my book, and the reason those chapters were in that volume was to help educate children.
I didn’t vocally fight hard for my book at that meeting. The opinions, in a critique group, were off base. They were even close to what I was trying to accomplish, and it was clear they were not going to listen to me. I did raise some objections only to hear again those two chapters needed to go.
I have learned a lot from my writing groups. I have used many of their ideas before. But not everything you get from a group works.
You know your book better than anyone in this world. It is unable to talk for itself. It needs you to do that.