Telling vs Living A Story, And More …by Susan Lute

As some of you may know I’m nearing the end of revisions on my current project, Fall From Perfection, a women’s fiction about a doctor who has everything, and then one day throws it all away. The manuscript is out to readers, and while I’m waiting, I’ve started the final polish of Dragon’s Thief, a total departure from the contemporary romances I usually write. Sort of.

I wrote Fall From Perfection several years ago, but it never went any further than my computer because it was a hard sell, even to my agent. Women’s Fiction was tanking, and no one wanted to take a chance on a story about a woman who wasn’t so likable at the beginning of her story. Since then the industry has changed. A lot.

Like Stella in The London Affair, Dana is a strong woman, a doctor in trouble. Fall From Perfection is a story about stripping away the mask, finding your true self, and in the end finding family – my usual recipe.

Fall From Perfection is not MY story, but a mirror of a lot of the elements in my life. Which brings me to the topic of today’s post. Telling a story versus living it. Good writers tell stories that pull readers out of their lives and into the story’s world. One of the first things a writer has to learn is to show not tell – in my mind convince the reader, hopefully effortlessly, to live the story with the characters. When a writer can do that, s/he has made it. How, you ask? I don’t know, but I’m beginning to believe it has a lot to do with sentence structure and word choice. Some are born with this gift. Some must learn it. That takes practice. Lots of practice. I also think it means just writing the story, and not worrying if it will sell when you’re done.

Different authors do this for readers, meaning not all readers like the same author – a good thing actually. Those who do it for me are Diana Duncan – I would read her grocery list, Delilah Marvelle, Jessa Slade, Lori Handeland, Shelley Adina, Katie MacAlister, Sherrilyn Kenyon, just to name a few. Which authors pull you into the story so thoroughly you live it right along with the characters? This is a personal phenomenon, so it’ll be interesting to see who does it for you.

Last week I worked the day job from home. Wow! Is all I can say. Still have rose colored glasses on. My writer’s journey? I read four books, polished 432 pages, sent one manuscript to readers, one to be converted for Smashwords, and made Jane’s Long March Home available on Kindle Direct Publishing Select, where it’ll be part of Amazon’s lending library for the next 90 days. The temperatures shot into the 90’s. I rediscovered iced coffee. I’ve also been debating about publishing Dragon’s Thief under a pseudonym. And finally, I celebrated my birthday.

This week I’m looking at dragon art. A writer’s journey is never dull, that’s for dang sure. How did your week go?

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About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on August 6, 2012, in Susan Lute and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. My favorite authors are those that take me away from the real world and pull me into their character’s lives. They include Wendy Warren, Susan Wiggs, Kristen Hannah, Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Nora Roberts. They make me laugh, cry, and wish the story didn’t have to end.

    My week has been too much work and not enough play. I envy your working from home arrangement. Keep those rose colored glasses…the world is a lovelier place with them on!

    • Ginger! I LOVE a Wendy Warren book. Wait till you see the new cover for FALL FROM PERFECTION, which is going to get a new title…drum roll…THE BROKEN ROAD. Ms Warren let me use her quote on the cover. Whoot!

  2. My week wasn’t as productive as yours, but I’m working on it. I’m going on vacation next week so lots to accomplish.

  3. Fortunately, there are a LOT of authors who pull me into the characters quickly . But some of my recent favorites are: you, Susan Lute–seriously! Also, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Jessa Slade, Delilah Marvelle, Terri Reed, Rae Carson, Veronica Roth, Karen Marie Moning, and Kristin Cashore. Some of my long term favorites are: Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Roxanne St. Claire, Garth Nix, Nora Roberts, Linnea Sinclair, Catherine Coulter, Sandra Brown, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Kelley Armstrong, and Adrienne Phoenix.

    However, in spite of all the above, it is a combination of character and a story that makes me question what I know that makes for my favorite books. Some of my favorite books of all time–the ones I still remember long after reading them–are the ones which made me think/question and because of that the characters grew on me. That’s what you do, Susan, and that’s what many of my favorite SF authors do and a few YA authors.

    • Thanks so much Maggie! And we share a lot of the same favorites. I think it’ll be about 4 – 6 weeks until the next release {jumping up and down} The cover is done. Step one :)

  4. Among my favored authors are Kate Morton, Maeve Binchy, Melissa Marr, Lisa de Nikolits and Stephen King. I am not confined to one particular genre and this has enabled me to write several as well. A story unfolds as my characters speak and until the end is in sight the genre is unknown. For my week I will be attending my writing group meeting, working with my publisher on an ebook launch and keeping up with a writing partnership. Unfortunately I will also have to squeeze in my full time job!

    • Mandy, I know what you mean about the full time job, but yay you, for bringing it all together. When does your book come out, and what is the title? I’d love to tweet and fb for you!

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