Friday is for Writers (Part I of II)
As some of you may know, I’m a lawyer by training, and for folks who work in the law, as in fields like medicine, accounting, etc, there is a yearly requirement of continuing education (there are lots of fields that have this.) Continuing Ed was always seen by the attorney folks I knew (and still know!) as a pain in the butt. A waste of time, diverting from the billable hour. And given how busy I was, I agreed.
Flash forward twenty million years later, and here I am, totally non-lawyering- but still a professional. I am a professional, commercial fiction writer. There. I said it. As a business person and someone who rebels against airy nonsense, I have rejected all along that I’m a creative person, a writer.
This, in spite of the fact that I type all day long about worlds and people who do not exist. *rolls eyes at own silliness*
I still think it’s debatable whether I’m creative given how the stories download into my brain, but I am a writer. And lately, a couple of things have stood out to me:
1) I am outlining The Sinner and it is wicked complex- and I want to make sure that everyone who liked The Savior gets that same mix of romance and pathos
2) I made a mistake in Blood Truth and missed one instance where Butch “dematerializes” even though he cannot
3) A person on my team sent me a review that had a personal letter in it
Now, as for 3). I do not read reviews, as I’ve stated. That’s a private space for readers to talk to other readers. But this review, on Blood Truth, had a personal letter in it and my staff thought I should see it.
The letter was lovely. And sad. It commented that my books don’t have the passion they used to have in them- and the reviewer wasn’t talking about sex. She- I’m assuming it was a she?- said that she loved my books, and would continue to read them. That she loved Blood Truth. That she was a fan for life (or something to that effect.) But she felt as though I wasn’t as passionate about the world or the people in it as I used to be (I’m paraphrasing here.) Specifically compared to the first ten books or so.
The letter stopped me in my tracks. It was not one of those character assassination things. Those are so easy to ignore because I’ve gotten a hundred thousand of them. No, this letter was thoughtful and sincere, and instead of getting all defensive, I reread it. Three times. And thought about it for days.
And I decided I needed a refresher course in my own world.
That conclusion was a product of the 1, 2, and 3 up above. And I decided to reread Lover Revealed first because The Sinner has a lot of Butch in it and because The Sinner is the culmination of the Dhestroyer Prophecy that was laid out in Lover Revealed.
Now, I HATE rereading my books. I despise it with a passion. All I see is mistakes that I can’t change. But that reader’s letter really got to me, and I wanted to see if I saw anything she did in the writing. If I could relate to her statements in any way. If I could use what she said to help me find a way to write better books in this BDB world that I love so much.
(Part II is next post on FB page.