Thursday, December 30, 2010

Am I that good? by the one and only Ms GINNY LESTER

We are lucky to have Ginny Lester with us today. I had to beg Ms. Ginny on my knees (figuratively) for a special appearance and I am so pleased that she has agreed to blog for Voices from the Heart, TODAY and TOMORROW. Ginny talks from the heart and says it as it is, in her delicious humorous style. So relax and enjoy her thoughts on writing. And PLEASE don't forget to post a comment. Without further ado, he-eeeere is Ginny Lester!!!!

It amazes me how many of us have the same background into writing. We've been fabricating stories for years, some of us beginning at a young age. The stories roll around in our heads until the day we decide to put them on paper. Ah, what a satisfying feeling it is to actually see our scenarios in print. Then someone says why don't you try and get this thing published? Whoa! That sounds like a very scary thing. Am I that good? How do I find out?

Hmm. Well, we dig through the Internet and find places we didn't know existed like RWA, FTHRW, and other areas that keep us thinking we can do this. We explore that spot close to home where you can go and observe and dig for the information you need from the people who have done it or been doing it for a long time. My first time was at a meeting in northern California when I lived there. Sacramento Valley Rose RW. I dressed to the nines, was forty-five minutes early, was a bit chagrined to see many others show up in jeans, tee-shirts and tenny runners. So, I learned a little that day.

A new-found friend from SVR offered to take at look at my first chapter. I eagerly e-mailed it to her and she came back at me with a no, you can't do this. "You have six characters in the prologue and each one has their own POV. A huge No-No!" My answer to her? What the heck is a POV?

I ventured out to find out what POV is, what formatting is, where to look for potential editors, agents, how-to articles and books. (I have a double bookcase full of how-to books. (snort) which I rarely look at.) You do your homework like a good girl and proceed to edit, re-edit and re-re-edit your work until you're blue in the face, sick of looking at it, and actually wondering if it's all worth it. You decide, yes, it's worth it to see your name in print on the cover of a book with a hunky guy and a sexy gal and your trailer. That comes before you uncover the deal on query letters and synopses. Crud! The dreaded information keeps on coming and we find out writing isn't so easy after all.

Olin Miller says it best...Writing is the hardest way of earning a living with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.

Well, rats! How's come we didn't know that in the first place? Huh? Huh? Huh? (sigh)

STAY TUNE FOR MORE TOMORROW.

Ginny Lester, long-time member of FTHRWA chapter.

19 comments:

Robin Covington said...

Ginny: I laughed as I remembered times for me that weren't that long ago. I love this craft because I am constantly required to learn, re-learn, apply and refine my tools.

Have a great day!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks, Ginny. Your post put a smile on my face this morning. :)

Celia Yeary said...

GINNY--it's a huge learning curve, isn't it? I'm convinced only people who are self-learners can write properly and manage to get something published. I went through the very same thiing not too many years ago. And every time I turn around, here's another way of doing something I thought I knew. Wonderful post--I enjoyed it.
Celia

Sheila Tenold said...

Ginny, your words bring back fond and not so fond memories of my own writing journey. Thanks!

Deborrah Girard said...

I hear you, Ginny. The funny thing is, we never stop learning.

Deborrah Girard

Jill James said...

Ginny, if we knew everything about writing in the beginning, we wouldn't start. LOL By the time you find out how hard it is, you can't stop anymore. hahahaha The writing has already taken you to the DARK side.

Can't wait for more tomorrow.

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Ginny. Since I've found lots of writing manuals and none to teach me alligator-wrestling, I had no choice but to write books. A good thing, too, considering I only consult the how-to books out of desperation, which would be way too late where alligators are concerned.

Bianca Swan said...

Boy does this post resonate with me. Enjoyed your take on the craft that once was so much fun until I learned about rewrites and self-editing.

Beth Trissel said...

Wonderful Ginny. We have followed extremely similar paths. I much enjoyed your warmth and wit. Maybe we should have wrestled alligators. You can hypnotize gators by tickling their tummies, or so I've heard...

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Waving Ginny. Oh how I remember our meetings together in Sacramento! :) I agree on learning all the rights and wrongs. Remember Judy saying I had five POVs in a paragraph of six sentences and one was from the rock? We all had a great laugh over that one, and it still haunts me to get those POVs right. I was like you - I had no idea what a POV was.

So fun and nice to see you here. We learn a great deal from all the great posts. Sharing is a great way to learn what we don't know and surprising ourselves at what we need and didn't realize it. :)

Hugs!

Patrice Wilton said...

And isn't that the truth! Writing is incredibly hard and had I known twenty years ago, what I know today, I don't think I'd have started down this path. Now I have too many years invested to quit! When that big contract arrives, I'll smile and say it was all worth while.

Carly Carson said...

Ignorance IS bliss, no doubt about it. Once you start, it's like you got on a roller coaster - fun at the beginning, then it gets scary, then you ask what the heck am I doing here?!! But along the way, there are some fun moments that make it all worthwhile.

Joan Leacott said...

All those buzz-words made my head spin-POV, GMC, voice, exposition, monologue. How come we never learned this in school?

Mary Ricksen said...

Every time I think I know, I learn something new, I hope I always do!

Mona Risk said...

Ginny, thank you for a fantastic report. I wish you stop by and see how people appreciate and share your thoughts.

I will post the second part of your blog tomorrow.

rita said...

PERFECT!!! Thank you for a great blog.Recently I've seen authors take representation from agents and then have said agent encourage them to change genre and go from ST to series. HUH?? Don't get it. Same with editors -let's just change the middle or how about we make her an Amish vampire.
Write what you know. Write the book you want to read. Dale Carnegie said "People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing." I very much believe this.
Happy New Year everyone

Mona Risk said...

To All Friends,

Holy cats, what lovely comments. I didn't expect such a response. I'd love to answer all comments, but the site seems to enjoy pushing me around and laughs at me when I try to post. Ms. Mona has graciously offered to post for me. I'm truly blessed with the many friends I've made through the years in both SVR and FTH chapters of RW, which gave me a plethora (God, I love that word!) of good people who are always ready to help in any way possible.

In answer to Morgan, I believe if you truly feel there is something amiss when an editor tries to change your ms, you need to ask that person to give you valid reasons why the change should take place. Of course, if the change is to the good, go for it. I don't mean to imply editors/agents don't know what they are doing. Obviously they do or they wouldn't be editors or agents. But we each have an opinion and it doesn't hurt to ask why a change should be made if you have any doubt. You read my Emmy and the Cowboy on the critique loop. Do you recall who the father of Emmy's child is? A published author said the story would be better if the ex-fiance was the father instead of the half-brother. If you recall the story, the change would have totally taken away the conflict between hero and heroine.

I had to laugh at Paisley's story of POV. Deborah J. from SVR told me the same thing when she read my prologue on a ms I'd written. Six children, six POV's. I agree with all in the fact we are constantly learning new things in the writing world. Knowing everything means you're never in the boiling pot. (snort) We know how THAT goes, don't we gals? And how boring it would be to always know exactly what to do or what to write. Thank you all for your lovely and uplifting comments. I'm so tickled with your repsonses, which allows me to walk on air while I do laundry. Yeah, well...life does get in the way. (sigh)

Ginny

Mona Risk said...

To All Friends,

Holy cats, what lovely comments. I didn't expect such a response. I'd love to answer all comments, but the site seems to enjoy pushing me around and laughs at me when I try to post. Ms. Mona has graciously offered to post for me. I'm truly blessed with the many friends I've made through the years in both SVR and FTH chapters of RW, which gave me a plethora (God, I love that word!) of good people who are always ready to help in any way possible.

In answer to Morgan, I believe if you truly feel there is something amiss when an editor tries to change your ms, you need to ask that person to give you valid reasons why the change should take place. Of course, if the change is to the good, go for it. I don't mean to imply editors/agents don't know what they are doing. Obviously they do or they wouldn't be editors or agents. But we each have an opinion and it doesn't hurt to ask why a change should be made if you have any doubt. You read my Emmy and the Cowboy on the critique loop. Do you recall who the father of Emmy's child is? A published author said the story would be better if the ex-fiance was the father instead of the half-brother. If you recall the story, the change would have totally taken away the conflict between hero and heroine.

I had to laugh at Paisley's story of POV. Deborah J. from SVR told me the same thing when she read my prologue on a ms I'd written. Six children, six POV's. I agree with all in the fact we are constantly learning new things in the writing world. Knowing everything means you're never in the boiling pot. (snort) We know how THAT goes, don't we gals? And how boring it would be to always know exactly what to do or what to write. Thank you all for your lovely and uplifting comments. I'm so tickled with your repsonses, which allows me to walk on air while I do laundry. Yeah, well...life does get in the way. (sigh)

Ginny

Joanne said...

Ginny,
I was told the same thing when I started writing--to watch my POV. My what?? I had no idea what she was talking about.