Writing is Hard Work

,bitetheoneyourewithcoverart72dpi__95079.1359436540.1280.1280J. Morgan on Writing

I’m a writer, or at least that’s what it says on the spray painted sign I park my car in front of. Seriously, it say J. Morgan, writer. It might not be as cool as Rick Castle’s Kevlar vest, but it still remains the truth. I write. Sometimes so easily, I can believe I can do it. Other times, those dark times that no one likes to talk about, writing is best described as pulling your own teeth without a rubber mallet handy to deaden the stupidity.

As a result, I’ll be the first to admit writing is hard work. Over the years, I’ve been asked are there any tricks to doing it? I want to say no, because either you can write or you can’t. There’s very little in-between. But! Bet you saw that coming. If you can write, there are a couple things you can learn. First you have to be open to being taught. That’s the kicker right there.

When I first got into writing, and published, I thought I knew how to write. I entertained myself, so why shouldn’t others be entertained? Because, being able to write doesn’t mean you know how to write. There’s a distinction there. Don’t think there isn’t. Talent and skill are two different things. Bear with me because this next bit clears it up, or I hope it will.

I come from a background in the visual arts. I’m a painter and pencil artist by trade, though trade will leave you starving. I’d always written and been told you’re talented, why don’t you write a book or something. Twenty years down the road, I finally listened to those pesky voices. I could write and did have some talent. So, I wrote a book. Two books, actually, but the first one was garbage, so let’s not discuss it. The second one got accepted by a publisher. I said wow, those voices were right!

Here’s where the ego got smacked around. I had talent sure. But, talent without polishing is still garbage, only pretty garbage. My first editor got me to doing something I’m totally adverse to– thinking. Thinking led to self discovery. Self discovery led to a startling revelation. I had a long way to go. That brings me to my first writing tip. Always be willing to learn.

With that out of the way, I’m going to pass on my first tip that doesn’t involve ego bashing. Write like you’re acting. To totally understand your characters, you MUST immerse yourself into them. Become them for the span of your scene, your book! If you can’t completely get who they are, how can a reader? Seriously, walk a mile–fifty miles–in their shoes. Then, you can overcome any writing block that comes your way. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to be blocked, because you will. IT means, once you are able to get back into that character’s head, you can push through and keep going. It might take some crying, whining, and general begging, but it’ll happen. Trust me.

Second valuable tip. Just because you read a book, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write with all five, in a paranormal author’s book, six senses. What does that mean? It means when you write, ‘She stepped out into a bright sunshiny day’, make us believe it’s a sunshiny day. Let us hear birds chirping. The wind blowing through long grass in need of mowing. The rumble of a lawnmower across the back yard. The yells of kids playing somewhere down the block. Something to make a reader fall into a three dimensional world. That’s just one sense, hearing.

Sense two. The smell of cut grass. The lingering scent of the morning dew evaporating on the lawn. Honeysuckle wafting across that breeze up there.

Sense three. The feel of that wind brushing across her cheek, embracing her body. The sun toasting her skin, as she steps off the porch. Oh, you get the idea.

Sense four. The sun blinding her. Those playing kids. A bird flying from tree to tree. The grass waving. Give them something to actually see.

Sense five. The taste of the honey suckle on the breeze. Can’t think of any more but you might.

When you write a paragraph, don’t consider just seeing it. Live it!

I’m not sure if I have anything else I could impart to you. Writing is a learn as you go type of thing. Through making mistakes you’ll learn more than I could show you. Just always trust your instincts and listen to critiques with an open mind. Aside from that, have junk food handy and you should be set. Thanks for listening to me run off at the mouth. I hope I’ve helped give you some new twists on writing. Thanks to Lynnette for having me here today.

Now, get to writing!

Jmorgan

 Where in the net can you find J. Morgan?

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 J Morgan’s books are available at Desert Breeze Publishing in eBooks and Love Free, Stake Hard is coming soon in print.  There are several series and  over a dozen books with Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.

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5 thoughts on “Writing is Hard Work

  1. You missed your calling, J. Morgan. You should have been a teacher because of your patience and willingness to share yours experiences and ideas with all of ua. I learn just by reading your wonderful stories almost as much as I’ve learned from your blog posts.

    As always, best of luck in selling those great stories.

  2. Excellent advice, but may I add one more to it? Be familiar with your subject: granted if it is paranormal, you probably won’t have first hand knowledge of werewolves and vampires, and those are flexible and can be molded to your own ideas. But for straight romance, historical or contemporary, don’t set your story somewhere you haven’t been, because as sure as the sun rises, someone from the locale will read your book, and be insulted you made mistakes about their city/town/college/whatever and insult you on multiple forms of social media.

  3. Excellent advice, Nancy. When I’m focusing on a specific locale, I made sure to research the setting as much as possible. Luckily, I have friends who are only too happy to help me get a feel for the places I set my books. It doesn’t hurt that I tend to make up the places I set my books.

  4. I can vouch for the senses in writing. I tend to write very tight to the character so it doesn’t always come out that there’s other things OUTSIDE of them. These are very true points. Authors are never done learning.

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