Author-Where Are You?

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Hello again! I missed my WordPress community. I am back and in the midst of working through the second novel a sequel to The Cause: Love & War. Most of my work until now has focused on researching, and toiling over the new story structure. I started this blog as my writer’s journey and it will continue. My hope is to inspire writers to write and others who want to write to finally pick up the pen and fill books and journals with their talents.  I am finally organized to share with you the development of book two.

Book Two, title still pending, is developing. The reader will revisit old friends and meet a new supporting cast of characters. The research is beyond fascinating for me. While most history books stop at the signing at Appomatox, we know the Civil War and its aftermath went on for many years to come. This is the focus of  book two. What happened after the fighting stopped? The husband, brothers and lovers did not simply put down their weapons and go home to pick up where they left off four years earlier. How did the civilians at home receive their loved ones? How did the South begin to rebuild?

The emotional, social and financial impact of the war only scratches the surface. What about the physical, mental and environment impact? These men were four to five years older. A majority of them who, by the grace of God, survived to arrive home with physical and mental scars. They arrived home to a family who knew them as the person who left. The families expected the same man to return to them. War is not that simple. Can you imagine the shock for both family and soldier? A shift in decision making roles, family roles and expectations. Nothing was the same in Post Civil War Era. Everyone had to define a new normal for themselves.

A portion of the book will talk about the reconstruction of the South. History books are written from the victor’s point of view. Every story has two sides and I am compelled to tell you the other side of that story. Continue reading

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Gaining Confidence in the Craft: A Co-Authoring Experience

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“On every page, confidence fights with self-doubt. Every sentence is an act of faith. Why would anybody want to do it?”
― David Morrell

A few months ago, a good friend introduced to a wonderful man who had a fabulous story to tell. He claimed he was not a writer. His story captured my attention immediately. He wanted me to help him get his story in print. He quickly wrapped me up in his tale and a new venture began. The first draft is underway, and I am learning more about my writing and myself every day.

After some negotiation, I decided to take this story and together we are writing his paranormal memoirs. We mapped out the book, voice and characters. Ron tells me his tale and together we add to the Google document. He writes, I rewrite, taking out the redundant words and fixing grammatical errors. Together we blend style and story together.

Every team must learn to work together. Luckily, our learning curve was quick and easily mastered. One lesson I quickly understood was not to use feminine wording or fluffy adjectives. Ron is 100 % testosterone and has no place for fluffy female descriptions. This was a solid lesson in characterization for me. I quickly understood this man has a heart of a lion, but he is fierce on the outside. In order to relay those feelings, I wrote the passage using different tactics.  He has a enjoyable sense of humor, and together we have accomplished about 105 pages through give and take and compromise.

While main goal is the same, our jobs for the book are different. I focus on the writing process. I am concerned with things like pace, reader captivation, plot threads and characterization. I am meticulous about weaving the themes through the book and not dropping them like stitches in a knit scarf.  The mechanics of a good, solid, sellable novel is foremost in my mind. Over the last few months, my confidence is growing. The realization of what I thought I didn’t know is there, a tool in my writing toolbox, ready for me to use.

While writing the drafts of my first novel, I searched for answers. I created this book with the confidence of a first time parent. I felt unsteady and unsure of my craft. While I work with Ron, I notice my confidence growing.

While I focus on the book’s mechanics, Ron is the storyteller. He relays every detail and correct chronological order of things. I admire him for these traits; it is hard to relive eight plus years of your life.  We write, edit and cut details out of the story to keep it focused. I am excited to see this story grow before our eyes.

Every book in a writer’s library is a learning experience. The co-author experience gives me confidence. I still research and read endless blogs about writing, but I am finally beginning to feel like a writer.