Saturday, September 27, 2008

Learning Curve #1

I've been navel gazing a bit lately as life's been tough and it's a means of contemplating the meaning of life...and writing etc. I don't imagine I'm a particularly great help to any aspiring writers out there - but I have one thing to offer, I've been on a long apprenticeship with a big learning curve.

So I thought to myself - why not write some blog posts about what I've learned since I started writing. It's been over six years now since I first sat down with the vague idea of trying to writing a romance book. So far I've had two published with Moonlit Romance (and another one coming soon). I've also had lots of Editor feedback that said 'great, keep going, just not quite right yet'. I still have dreams and aims and goals unreached. But why not reflect and ponder on how things have changed in the way I write? So here goes...

Learning Curve #1
When I started out I kept thinking about voice. Voice is all - you need to stand out to an editor right? I can do that, I thought. So I showed off, showcased (or so I believed at the time) banging all my jokes and showy stuff out splat, splat on the page. I enjoyed this - I guess I like to show off *gg* Maybe I just like to laugh at my own jokes!

Here comes the learning curve part - two fabulous authors made me wake up and smell the coffee on this one, both wonderful LBD authors (the lovely Julie Cohen and the enticingly fragrant Phillipa Ashley). Julie once said to me - slow down and enjoy the ride! Fantastic advice. There I was going at it like a turbo jet with such force and gusto that the reader just couldn't keep up quite frankly. Julie liked my jokes but I think I made her head spin (oops!) Pip, on the other hand said, just tell the story (forget the alliteration and fancy stuff and acting like a crazed copywriter in heat - gg).

It's taken me a long time to finally get the gems of this advice. And I guess it's only in the last year or so that I've finally calmed down and taken this to heart.

Voice is great (but voice lurks deep there anyway). Nobody wants to dance with the guy with the pint-glasses, loud Homer Simpson tie and fluro suit even if he is one of the sexiest funniest guy in the room! Er yes Pip, I have just read Just Say Yes and it's showing - gg!

Back to my point...We want to dance with the guy in the faded jeans and t who has the amazing assets, killer lines and quirky wit but doesn't shout about it...the one who makes us melt with a smile and yearn to discover more. That way we're hooked.

So - I guess I've finally put my pint-glasses and neon catsuit away, thank the Lord.

First lesson learned. CALM DOWN THE VOICE and JUST TELL THE STORY.
Thank you Pip and Julie - hi fives!
It just took me a while to do it.


Nell said...

Just leaving you a hug.

Marcy said...

Great post, Jude. I think you hit the nail on the head...we can always learn something from our experiences. Those are some great words of wisdon you've shared.

Julie Cohen said...

Jude, I'm really glad if anything I could say has been helpful to you in some way. I love your analogy about the Homer Simpson tie vs the faded jeans! (Though your writing was never near the Homer tie category.)

Congrats on finishing your draft and on feeling good about your voice!

Phillipa said...


i feel guilty for offering any advice. I loved taking the Leap. You created such a wonderfully scrummy hero. Congrats on finishing your book. BTW I make huge mistakes all the time and have to restrian myself from the ties all the time too!

Judy Jarvie said...

Julie and Pip - I'm seriously grateful for the advice and it really did help me move forward. My voice is pretty much the same - just more laid back, I guess I just realised I don't have to shout it!

Now I feel guilty for name dropping gg!