Daily (w)rite went on an involuntary hibernation last week due to a WordPress Technical glitch. But thanks to the awesome staff at WordPress, it is back, and so is the Writers’ Guest Post Schedule for November.
Today we have amazing writer, and lovely blog-friend Corinne O’Flynn. She is here to talk to us about how writers ought to treat their writing, so without further ado, I hand over the post to Corinne:
This might sound strange coming from someone who has yet to have her book published, but bear with me. There are ways to measure the quality of your writing before it is published.
There is so much advice out there about writing and paths to publication, much of it is right on. It runs the gamut from grammar, to character development, world building, and the practice of writing itself. If you’re like me, a lot of this advice speaks to you relative to your own work.
The best advice I’ve ever read comes from Jane Friedman through an article that was printed in Writer’s Digest Magazine last July/August. For the writer who has publishing aspirations, this is important. You ready? Ok, here it is:
“You have to view your work not as something precious to you, but as a product to be positioned and sold.” – Jane Friedman
I will remember forever being on a plane and reading those words. I had a gigantic “aha moment” and sadly was stuck in my seat, alone, with no one to share my epiphany. I must have read the article twenty more times while on that flight. Those words resonated with me and as soon as I could get back to my desk and my work, they found their way into my revisions.
The results were interesting. Once I took to revising my own writing with this outward-facing view in mind, I was able to see the things in my writing that were holding my work back—holding me back.
My ability to identify and therefore cut the junk and improve pacing became sharper. I could locate the places in my work where my own writer’s pride kept me from cutting something I thought was especially fabulous, even though it had no place in my work.
Did I instantly start getting nibbles from publishers and sell my books at auction? No, but responses to my work changed overnight. My critique partners didn’t know what I was doing differently, but they felt that something had changed and the quality of my work had improved. My entries into writing contests started getting positive attention. My confidence in my work skyrocketed.
Approaching your work as something you want to sell and not as a slice of your soul changes what you see when you’re reading it. For the better. The results can be the difference between writing that is genuinely good and writing that grabs hold of your reader and takes them for a ride.
Corinne loves to write about fictional dark and fantastical things. You can find her on her blog and on twitter@CorinneOFlynn
Thanks Corinne, for the wonderful post, and now I open the floor for questions and comments from readers!