Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The doctor will see you now.

There comes a time in every writers' life when they need to take a step back and assess the health of their writing. Just as cars go in for MOTs and people can see their GP and nurses for a health check, writers should also take a look at how their writing is fairing. A writers' life can be lonely and it's hard being stuck in our little writing towers without contact from other writers and other people out in the real world. And this lack of contact can play havoc with our writing leading to a very sick manuscript or work in progress and a worried writer who wonders if their work will make it.

So what's the diagnosis? We must first examine the symptoms. So don your non-latex examination gloves and warm up your stethoscope. What are the symptoms of your writing's malaise? Is it lack lustre, lethargic, lacking in oomph? Has the sparkle gone out of its sentence structure? Has your plot lost its way? Is that short story missing its conflict? Are your characters struggling to have their true voices heard or are they flat, yearning to become more rounded and 'real?' If the writer doesn't believe in their own characters, who will?

Examining your work in progress methodically and clinically is the best way to looking for the cause behind why it's not working properly. To do this properly you need to form some healthy detachment from your work - being too close to it and looking at it through rose tinted glasses can distort and mask the signs pointing you towards what is really wrong. Ask the really hard questions and don't shy away from the brutal truth. Once you know what is wrong you can set the most appropriate treatment regime in motion and watch your work in progress begin to heal.

No-one likes a sick writing project but, thankfully, most problems can be fixed if you look deep enough into it. So, if your work in progress isn't feeling too well and isn't doing what you want it to do - sit it down, examine it, dissect it, and then give it the attention and treatment it needs and deserves - your writing will soon be looking better.

Happy examining!
Julie xx

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