Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No Discipline Seems Pleasant by Andy Scheer

My friend has every right to rest on her laurels. She's served as an editor at top magazines. She's written countless articles and had at least a dozen books published. And she speaks with great results at conferences around the country.

After decades specializing in nonfiction, she's decided to expand into fiction. I can see why. She's a gifted communicator with a colorful past. An inveterate encourager, she's always urged others to follow their dreams.

Now she's taking her own advice in pursuing the skills of a novelist. I know of at least two stories she's developing.

But she's not simply writing, she's also placing herself in the vulnerable position of letting experts critique her work.

This past week when Jerry B. Jenkins conducted a “Thick-Skinned Fiction Clinic” webinar, my friend was among the first to send her novel's first page for anonymous critiquing.

Jerry covered her page with red ink. He liked the story, but showed numerous ways she could plunge readers more quickly into the tale.

Just what my friend needed. “I thumped my forehead over the many mistakes I made,” she said. “But I do appreciate his help.”

With her attitude, I know she'll apply what she learned – and keep on learning. I look forward to her final version.


Rick Barry said...

At writers conferences, I'm encouraged to see many multi-published authors attending other authors' workshops, not to teach but to listen. It seems the truly teachable soul realizes there is always more to learn, more polish to gain for the craft. I'd rather follow their examples than be the thin-skinned newcomer who argues that his manuscript is already as good as it can be.

Andy Scheer, Hartline Literary said...

But those newcomers do have a point. As long as they remain thin-skinned, their manuscript is indeed as good as it will ever get.