Trust The Process


Every writer, through trial and error, develops their own way of approaching their work. While some use the “leap and a net will appear” approach, I outline. I like to know where I’m going. An outline allows me to see the story, to work out plot or characterization problems. I want to catch them before I’m a hundred pages in. I also outline each chapter as I come to it. I do back stories for most of the characters. I create a back story for the story itself, so I know what went on before it began.

I did all that for Alex Bullied. But thirty rejections tells me that it may not be good enough. The agent who asked for the full manuscript and then rejected it did give me some suggestions. He felt the plot did not hold  his interest as he had hoped and that the secondary characters needed more strength. With the help of my critique group, I am editing. I see what I missed and am correcting it.

A woman in that critique group, Amy, recently scored an agent for her young adult novel. She has worked on her book for three years or so. She has workshopped it at conferences and writing retreats. She hired a professional editor. High five to Amy. What this tells me is that it is accomplishable. That it is not a pie in the sky dream to try for an agent. What it tells me is to keep trying.

I try to remember: there’s no glory in easy.

There are times when my brain and creativity go on hiatus. Weeks go by while I do everything except sit my tail bone down to do the rewrites that I know are going to improve my book. I do not believe in writer’s block. I know the ideas and words are there. I trust the process; knowing that I’ve never take a break that I didn’t benefit from in the end. It always results in a pay off that I would not have anticipated and could not force.

Eventually I get out of my own way. I let it come to me, I let it flow. I think that’s part of it. We get so uptight, worrying that we’ll never get it right, that we stand in our own way. Relax, enjoy the process. Trust the process, whatever yours is.

And stay tuned.




3 thoughts on “Trust The Process

  1. You are so right. There is no glory in easy. I’ve been having problems with my WIP, but I’m going to sit down and write “one true sentence” as Hemingway says. This is my mantra for the week.

  2. I worry about my plot, and I’m a pantser….So if you outline so you know where you’re going and you are unsure, then I’m in serious trouble lol. I think that plot will be the next research project for me – sounds insane, right? But I was so hell-bent on keeping readers interested with every chapter that I may have ‘lost the plot’, When I sent my synopsis to be critiqued, the editor picked up on some plot problems – no climax, no plot building up to it, things introduced too late, and worse – the book peaked too early and I had nowhere to go. So now I’ve made those changes, and hopefully from my synopsis they will see that I have covered those bases. Maybe get just the synopsis critiqued by a professional? It really helps with plot problems, not just the construction of it. I think this will be me after my rejections that will come soon: getting the manuscript assessed and making those changes 🙂

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