Monday, September 15, 2008

Writing Partners

People often ask me what sort of advice I have for writers who aspire to be published. Honestly? That question often makes me feel a bit uncomfortable--I'm hardly a seasoned veteran. And who's to say that what works for me will work for you? My mind feels fresh and ready to write after a hour of yoga and a cup of strong coffee. You may not be the yoga type. (I won't even comment about not being the coffee type. If that's the case, we gotta talk.) Besides, when I've received writing advice in the past, I have to admit that it hasn't always been that helpful to me. I think the best thing you can do is try it all, keeping what you like and chucking what you hate.

However, I do believe that there are a few things about writing that apply across the board. One of them is the necessity of a writing partner, critique partner, partner-in-crime, whatever you want to call it. My writing partner and first draft editor is the single most influential person in the production of my manuscript. He listens to me babble endlessly about my ideas (in the planning stage) and offers sage advice and words of wisdom when my big dreams go a little overboard. Then he edits and encourages me through the writing of every chapter of the book. Because he is not immersed up to his eyeballs like me, he can see things in plot and characterization that I can't. Sometimes his analysis of my work catches me a bit off-guard, but when I have a little distance I usually find that his observations are bang on. Finally, he bounces ideas off me, helping me see plot twists that I didn't even pick up on myself, and getting rid of the non-essentials. I don't know what I would do without him.

Anyway, I was thinking about Todd today, wondering if he's ready to jump into another book with me, or if he's had enough of editing my first draft drivel. I hope not. If you're reading, Todd, cheers. You'll have a chapter in your in-box soon.

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