Sunday morning, early, early, and I'm wide awake. So, get out of bed, flip the Christmas tree lights on, get some coffee, turn on some Christmas music, and sit with Jesse and James. As I'm sitting there, I'm looking at the Christmas tree and noticing the various ornaments on the tree. Some of them were Frank's before he met me, some of them mine before I met him, a few are from my childhood, some were gifts from friends, and many were purchased throughout our years together. They're all on the tree . . . the perfect blend of both our pasts and our present.
So, Christmas music in the background, lights glimmering on the tree, and my mind gets stuck on the concept of the perfect blend and I realize that our writing should also be a perfect blend.
Our writing should contain . . .
- Showing versus Telling
- Dialogue - snappy, snarky, realistic
- A few margaritas for our characters, and perhaps the author, to drink along the way.
- Very little passive voice
- Voice - however you define it
- Believable characters (flaws must exist)
- And so much other stuff
Writing is just not putting the words onto a piece of paper. Heck, if it was that easy, everybody would be a writer. Writing is about blending everything we ever learned in High School English, tossing a bit of it away (just for good measure), everything we've learned in the blogsphere (again, toss some of it away, rules were made to be broken after all), and pouring our passion and energy into the writing. We need to mix it well, but not too much, because sometimes, overmixing can create a very stiff, practically inedible, dough! Yuck.
Blend everything just write (yes, did that on purpose) so that our readers can enjoy the perfect blend of our knowledge, talent, and a few things we've gleaned along the way.
So, when you edit your book - objectively, after much distance - do you have the perfect blend? Is there a bit of your past in there? Are your characters realistic? Is there more telling than showing? Ooops, was that a passive voice passage?? Is there a distinct voice? A mild voice? No voice at all? Is your dialogue realistic? Stilted? Would someone that age say that??? Are your characters too perfect? Does everything go right for them? Does there cat not hack up a hairball at 2 AM? If not, I want that cat. I'm just saying . . .
So, do you have the perfect blend in your writing that will compel readers to keep turning the page and demand you write another, and another, and another, and another, and another . . . book???