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?
Posted on August 6, 2012, in Susan Lute and tagged Delilah Marvelle, dragon art, Dragon's Thief, dragons, Fall From Perfection, Jessa Slade, Katie MacAlister, living a story, Lori Handeland, See Jane Publish, Shelley Adina, Sherrilyn Kenyon Diana Duncan, Smashwords, story, Susan Lute, telling a story, The London Affair, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.