In the spirit of this blog, I’m ready to confess to a shocking secret. Brace yourselves. I have 32 published books to my name but…wait for it, have never taken a creative writing course.
There, I’ve said it!
Confession is supposed to be good for the soul and since I’m on a roll, I’ll also admit that I’ve never had a writing buddy, a beta reader, or anyone telling me what does and doesn’t work. My comprehension of the technicalities isn’t all that it could be, either.
A dangling modifier? Sounds like it belongs in erotica.
A misplaced pronoun? If you say so, dear.
But in spite of all that, my books get contracted. I haven’t got anything left in the cupboard looking for a home. How can that possibly be when I’ve just admitted to so many failings?
I have a sneaky theory about that. You see, it all comes down to telling rocking good stories. It’s a gift and one that I’ve been blessed with since childhood. How I wish I hadn’t wasted so many years before taking up my pen. Call me shallow, (most people do), but I’m proud of the way I create my fictional worlds and if they give people pleasure then I reckon I’m doing something right.
I don’t plot, but start with a premise and let my imagination fly. It works for me! I frequently write 70,000 word books based on nothing more than a few characters names and a vague idea of what they’re going to get up to. They I let them run the show and they never fail to surprise me.
One of the problems I have is distinguishing between words spelled similarly but which say something completely different. Here’re some examples:-
Gray and Grey
Lay and Lie
And my personal worst nightmare – Affect and Effect
Hoard and Horde often catch me unawares
Faint and Feint have a lot to answer for (think feign as in a pretend an attack)
Leaned and Leant are to be avoided at all costs!
Vane (weather) Vain (vanity) and Vein (as in the body) are sneaky little devils if you’re not paying attention.
Brought and Bought were put on this earth to be awkward and I’ll give argument to anyone who says differently!
And so it goes on. No one said the life of a writer isn’t full of pitfalls, ready to catch the unwary. But you know what, I love every second of it and count my blessings at having found an occupation that absorbs me.