Sunday, April 14, 2013


“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek,” said Joseph Campbell.  Talk about an apt description of fiction writers!  We are surrounded by deep, dark caves, so ominous that even Dante would scurry away from them.  What’s more, we’re in the habit of digging new caves daily, especially those of us who write suspense.  We immerse our characters into plots so complex and frightening that we may never pull our heroes and heroines out of the chaos to a plausible resolution.

These are my gaping caves at present.  What are yours?
1.  I wrote a novel in first person, then decided to change it to third person.  I’m deep into the change-up and it’s a time suck, for sure.  My fear…it’s not better or worse in third person.  All that work!

2.  I’m poised to write the third book in the Funeral Planner Series.  I’m afraid it won’t be as good as FADEOUT and SWOON.  Is three the charm?

 3.  I’ve written a normal paranormal, a new genre for me.  The dread: my publisher and readers won’t like it.

4.  A friend advised me to go spelunking in mystery/suspense (instead of suspense/romance).  Do I dare?

5. Marketing/promotion.  Darkest, most dreadful cave of all.  Terrifying how many wrong turns I’ve taken already searching for readers.  Paralysis setting in rapidly.

Thinking it might help us all to name our caves, why don’t you tell me yours?  Treasure-seeker, Rolynn

Last Resort, Fadeout, Swoon
(all available now!)


Maddy said...

Spelunking? That's a new one on me.

I wasn't going to comment but then I felt I had to.

You, my dear, are in need of a good talking to. So much self doubt! Why? You have a proven track record.

So how about I share a technique with you to beat down those demons?

From now on, every time one of those negative worms sneaks out and starts to circulate in your brain, try and counter it with three positive statements, affirmations confirming your self worth.

Best wishes to you.

Mona Risk said...

Right now I'm in the promo cave. It's dark, bad, scary, and I'm afraid it's going to hurt my writing muse.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

My cave of fear is aiming higher. Self-doubt is a terrible thing. In the past I've only submitted to two publishers, both small. My agent insists it's time to move up. My fears insist I remain in my comfort zone. I've allowed agent lady to submit a short story to Carina for their Christmas line during a special quick response promo they held a month ago. Supposedly they're to announce their chosen few tomorrow. Am I nervous? Hah...does chocolate melt in your mouth?

We all have our fears, sad to say. As for your worrying about venturing into a different genre, do what your writer's heart dictates. Your awesome writing will shine thorugh.

morgan said...

My fear is bad reviews. One review by a Finnish chick who tore into my book with a sharp dagger. If you read the one star review to the end, she saids she would have liked it and bought it if it were cheaper.

I've had a hard time asking for reviews, which is why I put up my Writer Wonderland site. If I don't like a book, I won't give a bad review, just promote the book in another fashion.

Books that I am running excerpts for are usuaully books I haven't read. LOL

R. E. Mullins said...

My first book was published 12/12/12 I wrote it over six years ago. A published said they'd take it IF I rewrote it into third person. I sat on it for years before caving. They seemed to feel third person was more universally liked by readers.
I received my first bad review after getting several really good ones. Now ask me which one I lay awake thinking about

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks to all for your great comments. Maddy, your method is a good one. Persistence and good thoughts will get us through.

R.E. spoke of being 'forced' to write in the third person. You are my sister! I still don't see the difference in my 'alteration.'

Vonnie, you go for the big time, girl. I've heard Carina Press is a great place to be. You're ready...your agent is a smart person!

Mona, if we hold hands, we might be brave enough. I think of you as the promo energizer bunny...I'd go with you anywhere.

Morgan, I still think about the 3 star review I got...but I go read reviews on Steven King's stuff to feel better...lots of readers give him the middle finger.

Thanks to all of you for responding!

Barbara Weitz said...

You and I are in a similar cave at the moment. I wrote a complicated madcap murder five years ago that won't let me leave it in the box. So I've worked months on it, because it's the second book I wrote and had tons of craft errors. Now, as I finish, I wonder if it will be worth it. Should I have just kept writing the new stuff. Oh yeah, it's a deep dark abyss here in Barb's writing world.

AJ Nuest said...

I am living in a cave of fear to take the plunge into self-publishing. So many of my close friends are whispering in my ear, telling me this is the way to go -- and they've got the numbers to prove it can be done and done well. But can I do it? Can I really do this without a publisher behind me? I am terrified to take the step. I feel like I'm leaping off a high cliff into a free fall, and if I'm not successful, I will only have myself to blame. ARGH! Which is the right course? Keep submitted to publishers, dealing with rejections and maybe wait two years or more before I see a finished product? Or do it myself and pray the story is strong enough? Help!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Barb, I hear you! I have about five 'old' novels that I want to polish, but what if they take too much work and don't benefit from the dress-up? Are we objective enough about our work?

AJ, go for it. I self-pubbed last year, just to see if I could. Hell, it's faster, and I used my same editor and cover artist because they work freelance. I LOVE the total control...and did I mention, it's FASTER. Scared me to death, too!

Rolynn Anderson said...

I'm off to a golf tournament today...hope I do well for my team (another cave :-)...I'll be back to talk to y'all around 3:00. Keep those comments coming...feels like a GOOD PURGE!

Lisa Hannah Wells said...

My cave is redoing books that beta readers have said are great but when I submit, I get rejection after rejection that makes me want to quit writing. But, then that's who I am. What else would I do? So, I am still in a cave trying to make a book I wrote years ago one that will make an editor stand up and notice. My other caves are ghostwriting and they are my money makers, so I am buried in those with no way out as yet. Is it dark and scary? Heck yeah!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Yay! We won our region by winning today. My partner and I pulled in more points than any other team. Yahoo!
Lisa, your caves ARE scary. I'm very interested in your successful ghostwriting stuff. What's that all about?