Recurring messages have perfect timing. It may not feel like it when we’re flat on our faces, but they do know when to nudge. Growing up with parents who persevered to achieve everything their hearts desired, it’s probably in my bones not to give up. It’s the stubborn side of me that causes the long winding path that eventually gets me there.
And, it’s hard work.
And, it doesn’t always feel good.
And, it takes a long time.
I’ve put off dream after dream, just to chase them back down. And, it’s happened again. As I’ve shared before, I’m rewriting my novel, Seam Keepers. This story started as a challenge in 2014. Write a book in a month, don’t look back, don’t edit, don’t judge yourself, just write. So, that’s what I did. However, it took longer than a month, more like eight months. But it was done.
That was draft one.
From there it’s taken many twists and turns and overhauls and battles and writing conference changes and online class revisions. Still today, I’m in the midst of my full rewrite. I am learning how to strengthen and improve my writing through a PNWA in-person writing course. Recently in this class, my instructor shared a bit of advice I’d heard before, though it struck a nerve once again: The only difference between an author who publishes a book and one who doesn’t is perseverance.
During the same week, the school where I teach had an author visit by Ben Guterson, author of Winterhouse. After his engaging and inspiring visit, I introduced myself and thanked him for sharing his time with students, but also added I was working on a book of my own. Just meeting other writers and authors puts a spring in my step, and I’m always curious of any passing thoughts or comments by the heroes who have already succeeded.
His eyes lit up as he shook my hand, “Don’t ever give up.”
“I won’t.” I walked away thinking, how can I give up now? I just declared I wouldn’t. That’s as good a promise as any, I suppose.
Twice in one week the message about perseverance and never giving up chimed around me. If I mix these good tidings with my post from last week, then I know I’m on the right track. With my to-do list long, I’m off to check off writing. Because that, my friends, will help me down the road (the one I tend to make long for myself). Maybe there’s a shortcut in my future?
Writing Advice: Sculpt your Antagonist
Today I am working on my villain. I’m making sure he is as well-rounded as my protagonists. Questions about his backstory, his idiosyncrasies, his drive are hovering around my desk this afternoon. Take a moment and look at your antagonist. What’s keeping him, or her, (or it) going? Why? What was his or her (or its) childhood like? How does he or she (or it) express emotions differently now? There’s a reason for everything… can you identify it for your villain?
You never have to put any of this thought-out information into your story. But if YOU know about it, you will write from that perspective, and I guarantee your villain will read truer. Or, that’s what I’ve been learning lately. Let me know how it goes. Maybe you have some advice to share about villains and antagonists? Regardless, keep going…
~ By Celaine Charles, February 24, 2019
Image & Contact Links:
http://www.psst.ph/teach-kids-perseverance/ (if you stumble…)
https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Guterson/e/B001K8THWS (Ben Guterson, Winterhouse)
https://quotesgram.com/never-give-up-inspirational-quotes/ (Never Give Up)
Categories: Thoughts on writing...
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