Plunging the depths

Someone once said to me, not so long ago, “You’ve written a dozen books! Must be the easiest gig in the world now.”

Yeah, I thought that once, too. That writing was like brain surgery, the more you did it, the easier it would get.

In truth, the more I write, the harder it gets. I’ve said this before on other blogs that I raise the bar each time I finish a book and chart a course for a new one. I want the next book to be exponentially better than the one before it. But I still start at the same place every time – on page 1 with nothing but a lot of white staring at me and a teasing, blinking cursor accentuating all that empty space.

I want each successive book to plunge deeper, to snag more acutely the reader in the most tender and savage of ways, so that my books are to them memorable, unique and evocative. The best books I’ve read are the ones whose prose is so lovely and sharp you don’t even know you’re bleeding.

Writing of that caliber reads easy and fluid but churning it out can be like mining for gems in solid granite. But it can be done. It should be done. But it takes a concerted effort. At least for me, it does. And there’s no better place to hone your mining skills than in the company of other miners.

The wildly talented Lisa Samson and I are teaming up to teach a two-day intensive and intimate fiction workshop called Adding Depth to Your Fiction that will be offered twice this year in two different spots in the nation. The first one is coming up May 7-8 in Orlando and a second one is set for Detroit in July, as part of the Masters Seminar series sponsored by Command Performance and MacGregor Literary. Lisa and I have been working on our class materials for this first workshop, and I must say I am getting more excited every day to share with writers what I have learned about adding depth and dimension to a story. And I love the idea that ours will be an intimate group which means there will be lots of indepth, one-on-one feedback, insights and mentoring.

If you’re a novelist or you know a novelist, pass on the above link to them. We’re going to have an amazing time together spelunking in the prose cave with our axes, picks and little yellow hats with the lights on top.

On Friday, why I love Phantom of the Opera. See you then . . .

Author: Susan

This post has 3 Comments

  1. Hope on April 13, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Very insightful Sue. If you ever wonder if you accomplish what you want in your books, you do. Each one is better than the one before

  2. Wendy Paine Miller on April 13, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    “the most tender and savage of ways.” Love that!

    ~ Wendy

  3. Joanne Bischof on May 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    After having the joy of being a part of your workshop at the SDCWG spring event, I'll keep my fingers crossed for an event in CA! Thanks for sharing, and you are doing a wonderful job.

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