Bah! Rules!

Woman Reading a DiaryFor the last few weeks I’ve been listening to some NYT bestselling books on audio. It’s inspiring all the way around.

As I was telling a buddy the other day, when I decided to try my hand at writing, it was out of desperation for something I liked to read. I had read all of my favorite writers’ books at that point (they can only write only so fast) and wanted to read what I knew for sure I would enjoy. Other authors start writing because they read something awful and said they could do better. But me, I wanted something just as good.

Though I’m not up to the excellence as the ladies I read, I continue to work on improving my books while keeping true to my voice.

One of the things I’ve learned while listening to the audios is that they’re not perfect. Close enough, but I catch a few things. And when I say I catch a few things, I’m saying they’re minor. It proves to me to stop sweating the small stuff.

Side note: One of the ways an author self-edits her book is to read it out loud. You catch so many errors that way. Helps smooth out the writing. But we’re all human and still miss a few.

Yes. There are grammar rules and they should be followed. Yet, at times you can break the rules if it will make the scene more dramatic or funny or whatever.  In other words, there must be a reason to break the rule.

My critique partner can tell you, I don’t believe in characters saying each other’s name over and over again, especially in a scene where there is only two people. Wouldn’t you get ticked, if your better half said your name at the beginning or end of every other sentence? You’d think they were mad at you or being sarcastic. But in one of the books, the hero refers to the heroine quite often by a nickname. It caught my attention, but didn’t irritate me (or the heroine). It actually helped the reader to remember there was a difference between the two lovers.

I caught inconsistencies in facts, but it didn’t bother me because the story was so wonderful. Yes. Great writing can help you overlook the small errors too.

So here’s to me hoping that my writing improves to the point people forgive me of all my small mistakes and understand the choices I make in my books.