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Louise's current project is to make all her sweet romances available on the internet.
Look out for her new Regency romance, Regency Fortune, coming soon!


Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The Message Received is the Message You Sent

Who said that? I can't remember now, but I think it's one of the most important points to absorb if you want to write. All my ideas, plans and intentions count for nothing if the person who picks up the text then finds a different meaning on the page.

I once heard the composer Philip Glass on the radio saying that he refused to tell musicians how to play his music. The musicians were very disappointed with him, because they'd been looking forward to working with a real live composer - but so far as Glass is concerned, his ownership of the music finishes when he puts it out into the world. He doesn't mind what people find there, or what interpretations they create.

But he's a genius! And both my critique partner and my sister said similar things about my first chapter, so I decided it needed changing. One problem with writing in the first person is introductions. I wanted to avoid the cliche of our hero looking in the mirror, but I'd avoided it so thoroughly I'd left out her name and gender. But even though lots of vital facts were missing, I'd still succumbed to the sin of telling not showing. And that in turn led to another problem. How do you feel about people who tell you how horrible their parents are? Exactly! It doesn't help build sympathy for the character.

So, this morning I rewrote the opening scene of the Glass Cliff, where we meet our heroine at work and tried to put as much information into action as possible. And then I rewrote the next scene which takes place at her parent's house. I changed her 'voice over' type of narration for a family row over the dinner table, and you know what? I think both scenes are much better for it.

Every writer needs a critique partner!

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