I’m still learning how to write well. That may not sound like cause for celebration, but I’m more than a little happy about the realization. I’ve struggled with show don’t tell and repetition since I started to write seriously a few years ago. I didn’t even know what showing was back then. Mastering this skill has proven difficult but not impossible.
I belong to a few online writers groups and they have made all the difference in honing my craft. So part of this post is how much genuine joy writing brings me and the other part is how writers groups specifically help me achieve that joy. I re-read the end of my debut novel, Fantastic America this week. Mirth and joy bubbled up in my heart all over again. I did that.
Not long after that I got critiques back from earlier chapters in the same manuscript. One of my mentors in that group went out of her wat to say my craft has improved. I’m far from perfect yet. The important thing for me was recognition from a colleague far ahead of me in the publishing journey, that I was on the right track. I’m improving.
So if you’re struggling with a character’s motivations, working your way out of a plot hole, a just finding a new way to show vs. tell, don’t give up. The struggle is part of the journey, the prize (for me) is on the other side. No one is more qualified than you to free your voice and tell (or show) your story.
Once you’ve beaten that cumbersome distraction from sharing your voice. When someone else reads your work and you know they absolutely get what you meant to convey. Clarity for your voice, and the invented voice of your characters and story makes the struggle (and triumph) worthwhile. You can do it!