I am a perfectionist, in terms of my writing. Most authors probably are. This doesn’t mean we think our writing is perfect. It means we’ll never be content with the finished product. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the craft.
I’m halfway through my second manuscript. Fate – or perhaps chance – has introduced me to a brilliant young woman. She is helping me craft my next draft (very Dr Suess – ‘craft the draft’). Based on the work we’ve been doing, I now think it’s essential to have someone to bounce ideas off through the drafting process. Joelene is somewhat of a connoisseur of young adult literature. She asks the hard questions of my work, like: Why does Laika (a principal character in my next book) behave like this when she’s in that situation? Why does Jack (the main protagonist) say this when previously he’s said that? Is there a reason this character has no friends? What’s your motive for creatures in this world doing that? Why does the main antagonist choose this weapon, when surely that weapon is far more menacing? If I cannot answer Joelene’s questions, I need to revise the text. Each word is chosen for maximum impact. Every action has to have a reason, every scene a purpose. This is why I love writing.
Descriptive writing is one of my strengths – Queensland’s largest paper, The Courier Mail, agrees with me in their fantastic review of A Wicked Kind of Dark (click here to read the full review). I love creating beautiful images and unique phrases. If you want to read a book ‘dripping with descriptive language’ look no further than here. Joelene is ensuring that my weaknesses become strengths in my next novel. Her vast knowledge of the YA market is proving invaluable.
Writing is a deeply personal thing. It is your voice that distinguishes you – nobody else’s. However, I’m discovering the very real benefits of bouncing ideas off someone well-versed in the genre I write. The text is singing. I wish I’d met Joelene earlier!
Ckick here for another useful article I found for authors about to take those first few steps:
Jonathan K Benton.