With a short hiatus ahead of me, I am psyching myself up to start writing again. I did a *little* while on vacation, but not very much. I was too busy spending time with my long-lost family in Ohio.
Having had some time to reflect (between early morning Scrabble, trips to the zoo, fishing and walking the dog and boys in the park), I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons I was able to stop completely for a while is the level of confusion that has resulted from too much feedback.
I'm more eager for feedback than most writers. I really want to know what people think before I spend more precious months of my life working on something. The problem is that other writers have totally different opinions from mere readers. The other writers who have looked at my stuff say, "There is way too much exposition here, you have to take this out as it slows the whole thing down."
The readers say, "This is happening way too fast! Who are these people? Where are they? Why are they doing these things anyway?"
From all the writing blogs I've looked at, it seems that the only writing style allowable these days is basically stream of consciousness. Or, rather, stream of action. Everything has to happen pretty much in the moment to hold an editor's attention. The number one rule is "Show, don't tell."
But when I read books that have been published by very successful writers... oops! They use a ton of exposition in their first chapters. I just read one by bestselling romance author Nora Roberts in which the entire first chapter was basically backstory. I enjoyed it. I kept reading. It didn't slow me down. But apparently, if I were to submit a similar first chapter, I'd be given the good old "form rejection."
None of it makes sense.
So I have decided "To heck with them all!" I'm just going to write the story the best I can and if no one wants to publish it, I'll just self-pub and move on with my life. Grandma's not getting any younger... she just celebrated her 98th birthday. I need to finish this and record it so she can listen to it. She can't read any more, but listens to audio books all the time and is waiting for mine.
I owe it to Grandma.