When I first started writing seriously, it was like the excitement of first love. I wanted to write all the time. I would writing in my head while watching TV, while hanging out with friends, while working, while driving. It was urgent. Necessary. I didn’t know shit about what I was doing, I had to get those words out.
Then writing and I started to get to know each other. I’d done a lot of the obvious plots. I’d figured out how commas and dialog tags worked and started paying attention to my grammar. Instead of being obsessed with the very idea of writing, I was starting to see my writing’s little irksome habits. The socks it left strewn around my living room. The way it preferred watching hockey over romantic comedies.
Then I started editing for other people, and it was like going out on double-dates. Usually, I’d come home to my words and love them all the more. But sometimes I’d see the flaws in others’ work and then look at my own and be searching for those same flaws.
Slowly, over time, I got comfortable. I started to realize my words were not the only words. That my words might suck.
That level of familiarity has come and gone over the past year, but in the last month or so, I’ve committed to being a SERIOUS WRITER. And it’s been sort of like getting engaged. I feel secure. But I also feel stuck. Bored. Wondering what else is out there. The words have come more slowly, and I second-guess every one.
Like any good relationship, I think my words and I will sort it out. But for right now, we’re each sitting in opposite corners of the room not-staring at each other.
And all I can do is hope and pray that it figures out what it should be apologizing for, and soon. Because I’m really, really, really looking forward to the make-up sex.
A few lovely people have had some lovely things to say about Letting Go.
So You Think You Can Write
Jeanette Grey is a truly gifted writer that tells a heartfelt story of love and loss and does it in a way that we can all relate to. There’s no quick roll in the hay or a love-at-first-sight encounter here. What Letting Go is is a story of love and its many different facets and when you truly look at it, you find that love, in all it’s wonderful phases, fills your heart like pieces of a puzzle, making you feel complete no matter what the circumstances in life are currently throwing your way.
Overall, I came away from this story with a positive feeling for the two men. David goes through a lot in terms of emotion in the story, but it ends well for him and as such I was happy. This story would appeal to those looking for a slightly angsty read with an engaging hero and I would recommend it.
Serena Yates / Queer Magazine Online
If you like stories with depth and background, don’t mind them to be a little serious and are ready to deal with some serious questions and the emotions this book will make you feel, you will probably like it.
|Letting Go by Jeanette Grey – Now available from Dreamspinner Press|
The writer needs to write to tell the story. The reader needs to read in order to enjoy it.
Sadly, they don’t always need the same words.
The biggest breakthrough I’ve made as an editor has been realizing that that’s okay.
Personally, I’m the kind of writer that processes things through the physical act of writing. I learn about my characters by writing them. I figure out my plot by writing it. But just because I needed to write something in order to grasp it doesn’t mean the reader needs to read it.
The biggest consequence of this epiphany has been that I’ve been letting a lot more of my words hit the cutting room floor. Yes, I needed to write all of that backstory in order to make it come alive in later chapters. But if I leave it where I wrote it, it slows my story down and bores the reader with too much information.
Words that I edited out aren’t wasted. They’re just not necessary for the reader to ever read. And that doesn’t make it any less essential for me to have written them.
For Aisling Weaver‘s FuckMeFriday prompt.
“Did you hear that?”
He was sitting so close to me; all I could hear was his breath. “No,” I whispered, giggling slightly, but then he grabbed my hand.
His eyes widened, and he gestured with his head toward the rooms upstairs.
“You don’t think – “
His eyebrow quirked up meaningfully. “Honestly. What else do you think they’re doing to make that noise.”
“Ewwwww,” I whined, grimacing and flipping on my back. I grabbed a cushion and crushed it to my face to try to mask the sounds. “That’s my baby sister you’re talking about, you know.”
I felt the pillow being pulled from my hands, my mouth opening to protest, but I couldn’t. Melting into his kiss, I let my wrists be pinned against the ground.
When he pulled away, it was with a wicked glimmer in his eyes. “Well, if you don’t want to hear them…,” he intoned.
I pulled him back down, smirking against his mouth. “Then I guess we’d better make some noise of our own.”
“Well, my taste in movies is pretty awesome,” she tells me.
“Yeah. I don’t do much of that girly crap.”
As usual, I bristle as she regales me with the list of things she doesn’t like. Silly romantic comedies. Sweeping, Victorian love stories.
And the things she does. Explosions. Crass jokes.
What I don’t ask her is just what it is about those things that is, “awesome.”
I don’t ask her why the things that (stereotypically speaking) men like are cool, while the things that women like are crap.
It’s a constant theme for me. At writing conferences, when people ask about my genre, I dissemble. I look down at my feet and blush and tell them, finally, reluctantly, “Romance.” And each time, I am already steeling myself. I am myself prepared to explain that what I like to write is crap.
And I don’t know why I do it.
The very concept of “Women’s Fiction” as a genre makes me crazy; “Men’s Fiction” is much less common of a label. More often, it’s simply fiction.
And what makes a story one for only women? Female main characters? Stories of love and family?
What about that that’s not for men?
“So what kind of stuff do you like?”
“Well, it depends,” I answer slowly.
And if it’s a good day … a day when I feel bold, perhaps I will answer honestly. Proudly.
“For the most part, I like crap.”