Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Still Writing!


Thought for the day:  The only kind of writing is rewriting. [Ernest Hemingway]


As you can probably tell by that nifty badge on the left, it's that time again.Time for our monthly IWSG posts. As always, thanks to our fearless leader, Alex Cavanaugh, for founding this fine group, and thanks to all the other nurturing guys and gals who've helped turn it into the thriving community it is today. To join this super supportive group of writers and to see links to other participating blogs, please go HERE

I don't know if I entirely agree with Hemingway's assessment about all writing being rewriting, but lately, it sure seems to be the case for me. Which is fine. Rewriting is better than no writing at all, right?





Yep, I'm still fine-tuning Explosive Beginnings. (sigh) The plan is to turn Archie into a tragic character, as opposed to a loathsome one. Getting there...

So yeah, the end is (still) in sight.

Thou shalt publish no book before its time...





Okay, so let's move on to this month's question:

What do you love most about the genre you write in most often?

Well, now, that's assuming I know what the heck my chosen genre is, doesn't it? The truth is, I'm not sure, because my first novel has been described in many different terms by many different readers. Because it's  chiefly character-driven, does that means it's... literary? Some readers describe it as humor or as women's literature. No, wait! Maybe it's contemporary literature? Oh, no...  my current WIP takes place in the 1950s... does that count as contemporary or (sigh) historical? Crap.

Okay, whatever the heck it is, what I love most about writing books of this nature is I have free rein. (Or as much free rein as my characters allow me, anyway.) By that, I mean I don't have to adhere to any particular story arc guideline, and I don't have to provide expected happy-ever-after endings. All I have to do is create believable characters and take them on a believable journey that is only limited by my imagination. It's FUN! Yeah, that's what I like about it. It's fun to explore my crazy brain and see what's lurking in there.

            How about you? What's your preferred genre... either as a writer or a reader?

                              Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time like, say, a brain surgeon. [Robert Cormier]

Don't classify me, read me. I'm a writer, not a genre.  [Carlos Fuentes]

There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. [Ernest Hemingway]


68 comments:

  1. As far as my writing is concerned, I don't have a clue about genre either. How on earth does one decide?
    For reading, I do prefer crime mysteries with a bit of forensics involved, but it must be believable. I don't mind a good comedy read either in between the crimes.
    I'm not a fan of 'dark soulful eyes/shirt ripper' romances. Unless there's a good story line involved, but that rarely happens.

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    1. As for deciding on a genre niche, I think most writers write in the genre they most enjoy reading. (Don't quote me on that... it's just an opinion.) However, for those of us who are eclectic readers, there IS no one favorite genre. A good story peopled by interesting characters is most important to me, and that can happen in any genre. (Not sure, but I think the people reading those "dark soulful eyes/shirt ripper" kinda books aren't reading it for the story. :) )

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  2. Good post! I love the comparison between a writer and a brain surgeon! I never worry about the genre of what I'm reading - I pick up a book, start reading, and if I like the first sentences, I read it. Good luck with your (re)writing, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thanks! Me, too. If a book's voice captures my interest within the first few pages, I'll keep reading, no matter what the genre may be.

      Thanks. Hugs back atcha.

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  3. I write about things that make me happy or sad ... I very often write about dreams and past experiences ... I write very fast and furious ... I almost always forget about "my children" after that ... I am very good at deleting them forever ... it's very much like using a toilet and flush, friend Sue, simple as that ... As for reading, I like to read "my old friends" over and over again ... I have still have books from when I was a lil school kid ... smiles ... same goes for my other "friends" which is my record collection ... but that's beside the point ... Wishing you good luck with your new book, hmmm? ... Love, cat.

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    1. Yes, dear cat, you write from the heart, and that's what makes your poetry so special. I reeeeeally wish you wouldn't "flush it" at the end of the year. Why not allow your poetry to be your "old friends," too? You kill 'em off in their prime. :)

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  4. I'm really looking forward to reading your next book! I hadn't really thought about what genre Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade fits into until you mentioned it. Which is kind of nice in a way - I just picked it up, read it, loved it, all without any preconceived notions of what type of book it should be.

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    1. Thanks! I'm really looking forward to finishing it!

      Thanks! I'll take that as a compliment. Kinda reminds me of something Smarticus says when a unfamiliar food is placed in front of him. "No need to introduce me. I just want to eat it!" The value is in the taste... or the story.

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  5. As a reader, I'm drawn to certain genres, but I do read outside that occasionally, and I'm usually happy I did. As a writer, I've written contemporary/less scary stories, but even then I'm pretty sure a lot of those had a darkness lurking at the edges.... :)

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    1. Interesting. I like how the lurking darkness sneaks into your "not-meant-to-be-scary" stories. I can relate. With me, it's unintended humor that insinuates itself into "serious" stories.

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  6. good post. I'm not a genre either. I read varied ones and I write varied ones,leaning toward humor, but not necessarily. Hey, keep writing and editing, and editing more. That's the way to go. Happy Wednesday

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    1. No, you don't follow any particular genre, do ya? Especially in your poetry. You're uniquely you.

      I don't know if writing, editing and editing more is "the way to go," but it's the only way I know. :)

      Happy Wednesday to you, too.

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  7. Rewriting is the bulk of it! Genre can be a constrictive thing, as a reader I'm more interested in character and being surprised. As a writer I just let the story get on with it and worry about describing it later.

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    1. You're right about rewriting, and even more right about genre being a constrictive thing. I like that. I never thought of it in those terms, but for me, that's exactly what it is. Being confined by a single genre is like wearing a strait jacket and trying to shake hands.

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    2. Excellent description! Full guffaw for that :-) !

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    3. I'll gladly take a guffaw any day! :)

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  8. You just write and that's all right.
    Don't forget my motto - Thou Shall Not Suck.

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    1. Yeah, that's all right!

      Good motto. I'll do my best to follow it. :)

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  9. Love the quote by Robert Cormier, lol. I generally stick to scifi/fantasy in my writing but I read all over the place. I, too, am looking forward to your next :)

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    1. Me, too! It's a darned good thing we DON'T have to get it right the first time, because I think most of us would fail miserably.

      Thank you. :)

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  10. Hello, Susan. Yeah, naming our genres can be difficult. I'm currently editing a cozy mystery/romance/humorous WF novel. We'll see where it lands. I loooved Hot Flashes and look forward to your next book!

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    1. Hi-ya, Rhonda. It's nice to meet you. :)

      Wow, that book you're editing sounds like it has a little bit of everything. Maybe that's going to be the new normal? Why settle for a single genre when you can crossbreed?

      Wow, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. You made my day, dear lady.

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  11. When choosing a book, I seem to know better what my genre to read isn’t more than what it is. I read reviews, I read the cover, back and sometimes the prelude, and if is something that sparks an interest, a laugh, or intrigue, I am a customer. I have my favorite authors but their subject matter range from comical to political and everything in between. I will not read anything that is disgustingly violent or full of horror. That leaves out a lot of the political non-fiction.

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    1. HA! Great comment. You had me nodding in agreement as I was reading it, and then with the last two sentences, you made me laugh out loud. Well said.

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  12. I love the quote by Carlos Fuentes. I should plaster that everywhere, LOL! Mi stories come out jumbled, too, and it takes a few redos for things to be in the proper order. Keep on writing and rewriting, and before too long, the story will sort itself out.

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    1. Hey, you've got no trouble with genre... you made your OWN. What did you call it...? "Crime fiction with a kiss." That's perfect!

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    2. Sorry for butting in, but I love that quote by Carlos Fuentes, too!

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    3. It isn't called "butting in"... it's "joining the conversation." :)

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  13. Yay for having the end in sight!

    I never start a story knowing what genre it is. I just have an idea in mind and write it. Afterward, I have to decide on the genre. Usually it's easy for me because I do tend to stick around in the romantic-suspense or urban fantasy genres, but other times...I really have to pinpoint the genre. Sometimes with a little help from others.

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    1. Thanks. Sometimes I feel like that "end" is the carrot dangling at the end of the stick, and I'm just the silly jackass chasing after it. :)

      I wonder... is it really necessary to pinpoint a genre at all? Maybe books are mostly becoming hybrids. Mutts. Having a purebred might be nice, but there's a lot to be said about those mixed breeds, too. :)

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    2. I think it's necessary for publishers and readers to know what the story is classified as. But you're right. So many stories are mutts. It;s harder to narrow down a story's genre nowadays.

      I wanted to reply here in case you don't see the reply on my blog about the hop. You can certainly post on the Friday before the hop. If you give me the permalink for the post, I can change your link in the signup, so come Monday, everyone can hop to your post. :)

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    3. Cool! The Friday before the hop. Will do, and I send you that permalink as soon as I have it. (A really smart young lady told me where to find it... ) :)

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  14. Okay, I'll dare to say it:
    Hemingway was probably soused when he said that. Rewriting can be beneficial but I personally think it is done too often. It can sometimes detract from the purity of initial thought....
    .....or something like that....
    (no, I'm not soused while I'm writing this).

    And, in my humble opinion, there seems to be too much focus on genre nowadays. It stigmatizes and compartmentalizes writers too much. Some writers are comfortable with staying in a particular genre comfort zone. I prefer to be free.

    Or a reasonable facsimile of "free".

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    1. Considering Hemingway's history, I'd say you have a decent shot at being right about him being soused. :)

      The purity of initial thought, huh? That sounds real good, but I parts of my initial drafts are pure garbage and need a LOT of fine-tuning.

      Yes, free works for me, too.

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  15. You know, rewriting is my favorite part. If I could just do that, I probably would. ;)

    Best of luck with your tricky character. You'll get there, and if you're feeling discourage, I've got a whole wheel of cheese for you.

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    1. I enjoy rewriting, too, even if I do grumble about it from time to time.

      Thanks. Hmmm, I'll keep you and your cheese in mind. :)

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  16. I read and write a lot of genres, and it would be hard to choose just one. Glad to hear the writing/rewriting process is still continuing for you. :-)

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    1. Cool. That must mean your reading is well-rounded, then.

      Thanks. Still trucking...

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  17. Love the header today ! ! !
    I am writing (lots of drawing little writing) a book about my first Scotty Kirby.
    Only been working on this book for 20 years, wahahahahahahahaha !
    Talk about one hell of a rewrite !

    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

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    1. Me, too! That's how I feel some days... underwater and overwhelmed, but it's all good!

      HA! Okay, so you've officially made me feel better about how long it's taking me to finish this book. :)

      Cheers back atcha.

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  18. Just writing away is the way to be indeed. I mash so much up that I just pfft the genre with some books. And I write in so many that I pfft the favorite too. What wants to come shall come and that is that.

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  19. I think fun is important in writing. The reader can tell whether or not you're enjoying it.

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    1. I think fun is important, too, but I don't know if readers can tell whether writers are enjoying themselves or not. I have to think about that a bit. The only time I know for sure my readers got a feeling for how much fun I'm having was when I spoke at a book club.

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  20. Greetings Susan. I am currently writing two novels, one I've wrote over four hundred pages, and the other just fifty. One novel is about crime, and the other is about a tribe in the ice age! I wouldn't know what genre to label the latter - historical fiction perhaps? I'm too busy to read at the moment, except for the blogs I visit. Glad you are progressing with your current draft and have an end in sight. Good luck with your writing and editing. Blessings to you.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Greetings, Andrew. Wow, aren't you the industrious one? Good luck with your novels. (And your poetry! Don't forget your poetry...)

      Blessings back atcha.

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  21. Hi Susan! I always saw the good in Archie. He has many sides, but I do believe he tried to become a better person. I'm still excited to see his transformation though! I also like having free reign and especially enjoy when I can sneak in something a little whimsical in lighter stories that my editor approves of.

    Julie

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    1. Hi-ya, Julie! Thanks. I'm glad you saw the underlying goodness in him, but hopefully, it'll be more evident to other readers, too, when I'm finished giving him an overhaul. I'm familiar with your humorous twists at the end, and I'm sure your editor loves them. :) (I sure do!)

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  22. Ha! Love your 'cogito ergo spud' byline :)
    as regards genre, hmm future historical? recent contemporary? Or... fiction??

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    1. Hi-ya, Angela. Thanks for stopping by. It's nice to meet you.

      Thanks. :)

      hA! I like that future historical. Sounds like a challenge. :)

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  23. I'm with Hemingway. I rewrite a lot! ;-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Me, too. Perfectionism really has no place in writing, but we have to TRY, right?

      Greetings back atcha.

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  24. Susan
    It was a spark of delight when I realized you had visited my blog. It has been a very long time since we had communicated. My sincere good wishes go out to you, dear Susan, for your continued success with your writing. You add joy to so many people's lives. What a gift!

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes. Right back atcha. Friendships formed in the blogosphere are never forgotten, no matter how much time passes between contacts.

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  25. I agree with the comment that books can be like mutts! Why assign a category? That's like saying ice cream has to be dessert and can't be a meal. So wrong.

    Love the quote about comparing writing and brain surgery!

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    1. HA! I love your attitude about ice cream. (Last weekend, I had dessert FIRST while our dinner was heating, because I wanted to be sure I had room for it. Such a rebel!)

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  26. Silly, but I used to choose my reading material with blinders on. While I still lean towards the likes of Baldacci and Deaver, even Grafton-- I think characters' authenticity is what counts in the long run. And, should protagonist be flawed, so much the better!

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    1. I don't know if I ever chose books while wearing blinders, but I would read ANYTHING that was within my reach. I reckon that wasn't exactly being "picky."

      Yes, I expect flaws in the characters, too. After all, "perfect" people and characters don't NEED us to care about them. :)

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  27. I love reading thrillers, suspense and romance!

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  28. I like the world building I can do in Paranormals.

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    1. I've never tried my hand at that, but I can see where it would be fun... and TRULY a "free rein."

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  29. I like reading multiple genres. Great post Susan!

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  30. Writing something definitely takes a lot of rewriting. I spend more time doing that than writing.

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    1. I'd venture to say the amount of time you spend rewriting and editing is what separates you from the casual writer.

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  31. Hi Susan - love the header photo .. thumbs up indeed ... wonder how long before the splutter buster comes bursting up?! Me - I just write blog posts ... one day perhaps I'll venture forth - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. I like that header pic, too. I have a feeling a lot of us can relate to that "everything's fine" mentality. I know I sure can.

      No, you don't "just" write blog posts. You write terrific blog posts, and you put a lot of work and research into doing it.

      Cheers back atcha.

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