What I learned about myself in 2014 through my writing

In April of 2014 I finally decided to actually sit down and finish a novel. Over the years I have started many, but never finished one that satisfied me. I had many ideas but settled on an old campfire story I’d made up years ago. In June 2014 I finished The Legend of the Swamp Witch. I self-edited and self-published. I recommend a professional editor. I missed many obvious mistakes. I also recommend a critique group to bounce your work off of. My Wednesday night group at Hob Nob’s in Phoenix has been invaluable.
For NaNoWriMo I wrote a completed first draft of The Ruby Queen, Book 1 of The Soiled Dove Sagas.
This manuscript went very quickly, as I forced myself to write a very detailed outline and character studies. Swamp Witch was written completely seat of the pants. Doing the detailed outline allowed me to basically write seat of the pants, but with a much clearer direction and understanding of my characters. I discovered that I really prefer seat of the pants writing, but really need the direction and structure of an outline. After attending my critique group and some writing conference classes, I found that style is very subjective. One writer will tell you to never use the word ‘said’ in your dialogue, while others insist it must be used, but will go unnoticed by the reader. Some tell you to read all the books you can about writing, while others say never read that crap. Needless to say, it has been a bit confusing at times. What I have decided is to go with what feels right for me and get on with it. I have learned so much this year and will continue to learn until the last word drops from my fingers! Keep up the good work everyone!


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