The Two Year Lesson in Writing vs Telling a story

“This is my best work so far”, is what I had thought when I sat down with the final edit of Consent by Oath, and what ultimately communicated with the other interests of Far Winds Publishing. When asked why, I had to reflect on one point. “Three years ago, I knew how to tell a story, now, I actually know how to write them… ish.” I had to throw the ish in there. But there is a difference in telling and writing, trust me.

The third full novel of the Trinity Breed series, Consent by Oath furthers the investigation into death of four women and the threat the city of Boston is facing. It was a fun and wowing and warped write but I enjoyed every second of it. One part in particular, ‘starting’ to reveal to Mark what he is. And after getting my hands slapped for trying to rewrite parts of it, yet again, I had to give in and let the work go. It was time to move on. Time to get to work on more books. I argued for one more read through, and lost. Nights, you can still hear keys clicking and catch the glow from the PC screen with Consent in front of me.

The lessons in writing I got from Consent by Oath brought me face to face with details I had been happy to skip, before I sat down and decided to strengthen my stories. This ultimately led me to rewrite and edit and rewrite and edit and rewrite… and you better believe edit and rewrite some more.

One of the things I said when I looked at the first piece I wanted to rewrite was, “where the {expletive} do I begin with this? This is crap!” An admittance that became the first of a few in the two years and change that followed. Painful as it were, it taught me to look at everything with fresh eyes. And I learned to swear. A lot. And to reevaluate the value I placed on works I had done before, and I will tell you, still has me eyeing everything I have ever written with a black marker and trying to x out some of the things I had written before, even on this blog.

So I will warn you writer to writer. Never learn to edit, learn to rewrite. Otherwise you may be sitting there cursing the keyboard for allowing you to mistype a word, become obsessed with the correct word, or wonder why one letter is missing, after you know you typed it while sitting down for nine hours editing and rewriting. And for all you grammar glamorites, this be my bestest work :p – Grammar is painful but worth it.

So, saying this was my best work, of Consent by Oath only showed my one thing. I haven’t written a serious novel. I have only been having fun learning to write. And I believe that it is time to let my heart bleed the words stuck inside it. With all the nerve of a writer, the eye of an editor, and the mind of a reader – The holy Trinity of literature. If you are not seeking to become this as a writer, then you are sorely missing out on the fun of your own works, and your best work may be sitting in a very lonely place, with you as the guard, refusing to let it out.

Been fun, back to writing. Hope to catch your eyes in the next couple of posts. Thanks for reading and sharing and don’t forget to come visit me over on authorkevinallen.com.

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