Thursday, October 4, 2007

Top Ten Countdown

The entire process (to date) of transforming The Ride into a published book continues to be an adventure as well as a learning experience. Along the way, I’ve figured out some assets that fiction writers must possess. I’ve assembled these qualifications into my own top-ten-countdown list:

10. A basic understanding of grammar

9. The knack of appearing professional in order to promote yourself as well as your writing

8. Imagination

7. The ability to turn your thoughts into words

6. Not using words like ‘flocculent’ or ‘lithoid’ when ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ convey the same message

5. Thick skins equal to or surpassing that of a rhinoceros in order to fluff off rejection notices with a flick of the wrist so that you are less inclined to slice your wrists open with any sharp object within reach

4. The capacity to receive constructive criticism with a smile instead of tears

3. The capability of deleting a paragraph you just spent eight hours perfecting after realizing it has nothing to do with the story you want to tell

2. The self-discipline to sit down and write or rewrite daily, even during periods when playing solitaire might seem a bit more productive

And the number one thing a writer must possess: (imagine a drum roll here)

1. PATIENCE (the patience of a Saint multiplied by at least a billion) for without it,a writer is sure to become a raving lunatic

The author must begin to develop this skill from the moment an inkling of an idea pops into his or her head. The need increases as the development of the plot and characters unfolds; escalates throughout the search for agents and publishers; intensifies during the editing process, until—well…what’s next? Marketing? Let’s don’t even go there.

Although I’m working hard to improve in this area, impatience still manages to creep in every morning that passes without word from my editor. I try shrugging it off, saying, “Maybe tomorrow,” so I can move on and start the day, but it is oh so hard to do.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride (to be released by ArcheBooks Publishing)

Tags: The Ride, Archebooks, top ten list, patience

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Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world