Ok, I admit it. I’m a sucker for kind words. The authors I know do what they do for a wide variety of reasons. I realized long ago that I tell stories so people will read them. Nothing keeps me going like finding out someone has read one of my books and liked it.
I woke up this morning to find that someone had said this, “I started this book this morning and couldn’t put it down until it was finished.” Wow! It was the second time in two days I got word that someone read one of my books and liked what they read. You can’t see it, but I have a big smile on my face.
All this has a subtle impact on me. It isn’t enough to just write, to meet my goals, to churn out another book. It has to be a ***good*** book, one readers will love.
For a variety of reasons I realized this weekend I was pushing too hard to reach an artificially set deadline for my current work-in-progress, The Renegade Wife. It is good so far but it can be much better. My hero is well sketched out and very clear in my head. My heroine is an abused wife. Her emotion and motivation needs to be deepened in my imagination and shown on the page more than I have so far. There are also scenes that lack atmosphere. A friend once called that stage of writing “naked people in empty rooms.” I need to paint in clothing and artifacts. I have some geography to clarify. The story begins in Upper Canada and ends in England. I also have to name the hero’s blasted horse.
Having beta readers find weaknesses is one way to improve your work and I have readers lined up. Before I do that, however, there are those things I already know I need to do to improve it. I’m taking a step back and letting the work simmer as long as it needs to. I won’t get much done today. Schools are closed and my grandbuddy will be here all day. I’m opening the manuscript and planning my week.
But first, coffee.