Today could have been a heartbreaking day for me. Another rejection for my book When God Turned His Head.This time it wasn't just with an agent, it was with a publisher. But they were kind and they gave me some very valuable feedback into why they didn't like the book. Fortunately the critism had nothing to do with the subject matter or the story line but the problems were things like--run-on sentences and not showing but simply telling the story. Because of what I am able to glean from this rejection, I can now go through my book and fix a lot of what (at least this publisher) found as problems with my story. I appreciate what they said because I've been too close to this book for so long that I'm not as objective as I would like to be. It's great that I'm able to see it now through a fresh set of eyes.
I learned in another place to day about writing letters between me and my characters to help develop my relationship with them. Since I'm currently working on this new book A Coward's Solace I'm going to begin today working on those letters so that I can get to know at least the main characters better.
Another place I was reminded to use my senses when describing a scene. Take a scene, a picture and view it using each of my senses--seeing the scene in detail, hearing it, tasting it, smelling it, feeling it. By sensing a the scene with each of my senses, the scene becomes more real to me and I am better able to translate the scene to my readers in such a way that they won't be obvious with what I'm doing.
Have you ever contrasted the characters in a poorly written television show with the characters of a well written movie script? That's the difference that I can create in my writing if I delve into my work and really become those characters. (Something totally different from having all my characters be like me). By knowing my characters as well as I'm able, I will be able to produce the kind of characters who can carry a story and make it interesting.