by Marie Johnston
It’s easy to get lost in learning the shoulds and shouldn’ts. Don’t use passive voice. Show don’t tell. Don’t write phonetically, it’s distracting. Don’t overuse colons and semicolons. If you want to write in deep POV: Filter words! Exterminate. Them. All. Don’t repeat words. What’s the black moment? How about the character arc? Plot? GMC?
Isn’t GMC a vehicle?
Yes, and no. GMC = Goal, motivation, and conflict—and my characters should have them, externally and internally.
Learning those rules made my writing tighter, more descriptive, more engaging. I felt like I was understanding the science behind the craft. But at the same time, I felt like I lost a little of my writing identity and dulled my voice.
Then I immersed myself in a favorite writer’s work. Hellllloooo, semicolons and em dashes. Hellllloooo strung out words like I just used. Filter words…everywhere!! I read writing how-to books. They’d reference the classics, then point out what the author had done “wrong” and yet were critically acclaimed despite those “errors.”
It all made sense. Like my former career in science where there’s always exceptions to every rule, writing’s no different. I’ve learned the basics and can use them as guidelines to bring my characters and stories to life. I can follow the rules until I need to break them to make my writing read like I’m excitedly telling the reader a story I fell in love with, which is exactly what I want to do.
When I read, I remember what it’s like to be a reader and not care about any of it, only that the story never ends and the author writes more. I give myself permission to go ahead and date my book by mentioning a cell-phone, a popular singer or actor because as a reader, it’s what makes the book come alive. It makes it relevant. Am I going to read the Great Gatsby and expect them to only vaguely describe the clothing and vehicles that characterized the time period? My favorite author ever—I’d read her grocery list—says that her worlds are their own characters. When I’m reading her descriptions, the brand names she drops, her pop culture references, I fall in love with the world as much as I do the characters.
Reading helped me hit my stride as a writer, and it allows me to write freely so my creative process doesn’t stall.
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Marie's Newest Paranormal Romance: Ancient Ties
Chayton Eagle comes from a strong line of wolf shifters, his father an ancient in their pack. Chayton proudly acts as a Guardian, defending the colonies from danger –both from outsiders and from threats inside the pack. The one thing he doesn’t need is a human-raised female on his team—especially not one who passes out each time she shifts! Never mind that she was trained by elite Guardians, Chayton doesn’t need the distraction of a tall, willowy, sexy-as-hell redhead when he’s working. He has to focus. And he has to remember he’s scheduled to take the blood oath with a female, a long-ago pairing, arranged by her parents. It doesn’t matter he and Kaitlyn are fated mates.
She can’t be his. Not now. Not ever.
Destined to be Mates.
Kaitlyn Savoy knows Chayton is supposed to be her mate. Too bad he’s such an ass about her human upbringing making her weak. Too bad she’s been assigned as his partner to take down the feral shifters threatening one of the colonies. Too bad she’s so damn attracted to him. As the mission continues, Chayton is captured by the ferals, and Kaitlyn proves her worth as a Guardian. During the rescue, she uncovers the secrets of her past, secrets that will affect her future. Despite his best efforts, Chayton’s opinion of her begins to change, his respect growing—along with feelings he can’t deny. She’s become part of his life, part of his heart. A fact his soon-to-be inlaws notice—and they intend to put an end to the temptation Kaitlyn poses to Chayton.
No matter what.
Available Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo