It was about a week ago when my wife and I heard a loud noise in the house. We were in bed watching The Office on the ipad – – so it was well after 9:00 – and it was clear the noise had come from the front door; it opened and it shut. We only had two house keys – one for me, and one for Sarabeth. I looked at her and whispered, “I love you. Lay flat.”
With panic in her eyes, she did so, and I quickly draped the covers over her to give the appearance of an empty bed. I grabbed my 357 Magnum revolver from my night stand and hurried on tiptoes toward the hallway. There were footsteps on the tile floor by the entryway. I prayed it wasn’t a friend pulling a prank, because I wasn’t going to wait to find out who it was before I shot the gun.
I took a silent breath, thanked God for my wife, and stepped from around the corner and found my target.
Familiarity. Context. Suspense. Climax. Look at that crescendo of moods I’ve pieced together in this little story. And if I’ve done my job correctly, you’re on the edge of your seat, wondering what’s going to happen next.
Truth be told, I myself haven’t even made it that far in my head.
This post is for you writers, struggling to write that first novel, persisting through to publication, or considering taking up the craft all together.
I’ve been editing for several months now, and I’m seeing a lot of honest attempts out there to write good books. There are some manuscripts that tell me that the author needs to retake an English course. Many of you authors tell mediocre stories – which won’t get you published. And others write so well, with crisp, beautiful dialect – but the story just isn’t grabbing my attention.
All in all, I see honest attempts at books, and despite the misspellings and grammar issues, the biggest problems I’m seeing is the stories. Whether it’s the flow, the pacing, the familiarity, the context… whatever it is – it’s either a story I’ve seen done a hundred times, or it just is so alien to the world I know that I can’t possibly relate, and therefore others won’t either, and your book will likely not get published.
Keep checking back here from time to time, because I’m going to address these issues one by one over the next month or so. And please, help us reach our goal of adoption by purchasing my book here, and also, be sure to take advantage of my editing and story -coaching services by checking out my rates here.