Listen to Yourself
By Patricia Sargeant
I'm sorry I disappeared the last two weeks. The Final Deadline Lap was rough. But I submitted my manuscript to my editor last Monday, and now I'm trying to get my life back into balance. Ha!
But I digress.
I learned several Very Important Lessons while writing Sweet Deception, my June 2009 contemporary romance. I'd like to get your input on one of them.
When I started writing Sweet Deception, I signed up for a hands-on plotting workshop. The instructor was a former creative writing teacher and a very well-known author who consistently lands on the New York Times Bestsellers list. I was excited to attend the workshop.
One of the first exercises was to write the high concept of our plot on a scrap of paper and pass the paper forward for the instructor to read a loud and provide feedback. The high concept for Sweet Deception is, "When a minister's daughter's secret life as an erotic romance author is revealed, she has to choose between duty and desire." Or something like that.
The instructor ripped the high concept to shreds. Thank goodness we submitted our ideas anonymously.
The workshop shook my confidence. Temporarily. I believe in the story. I like the characters. And I have a lot to say about the story's theme, which is identity. So I stuck with the story. I'm glad I did. I'm proud of my work. As I mentioned before, the reviews are coming in, and I'm pleased with them.
You've probably heard this a million times. Let's make it an uneven one million and one. There are only two people whose opinion of your work really matter: you and your editor. If you have an agent, then there are three people whose opinion matter. But First, Last and Always - at the end of the day - the only person whose opinion of your work truly matters is you.
Here's what I think. If you truly believe in your story, never give up on it no matter what others may say. Keep working on it until it's the best it could possibly be. Then work on it some more. Listen to yourself, and never give up.
That's what I think. What do you think?
Monday, May 25, 2009
Listen to Yourself