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Welcome to The Inkwell, the blog site of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) of Colorado.

Each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find a wide variety of topics and insight
from inspiration to instruction to humor and more!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You never stop learning

I made a horrible discovery about a month or so ago. I apparently can’t write in third person. Which really stinks since that is how my latest wip wants to be written. It looked like a beginner had written it, not someone who had been writing for a very long time.

I’ve always written in first person. Even before I knew the difference between first and third, it was always first for me. It’s where my voice fits naturally. By no means, am I an expert on writing in first… my crit partners will tell you that… but I’m certainly not a beginner.

One of my crit partners was in desperate need to slice and dice something (sick woman that she is) and the good friend that I am, sent it to her… telling her, “Now, just remember, this is still rough, I’ve never written in third before.”

I opened her crit when I got it back and was devastated to discover a crit, which bore a remarkable resemblance to the crits she used to send me when I first started writing. And everything she said was right.

I’ll be honest, I considered completely given up writing again. I can’t go back to square one! That would be crazy. Almost everyone I started out writing with is now published. How can I start over? I was already “behind” when I write in first but would be even farther behind if I wrote this next wip in third.

But then, my own words came back to haunt me. Whenever a beginner wants to quit writing, I encourage them by saying, if you ever stop learning how to write, you might as well give up now. The best writers in the world are always learning. Always honing their craft.


On a personal note. I'm the Industry Liaison of the Colorado Springs Chapter, WWW. I've been a member of ACFW since 2004, back when it was still ACRW. I set up blog tours for authors when they have new books coming out and I also assist a number of authors.


D. Gudger said...

Early drafts, especially first ones are supposed to stink. If they don't, we may think you were from some alien planet. :)

I'm having stinky writing shock as I work on draft #1 of novel two. After working the other to death, I feel like I write like a first grader.

We're all in this together. No one can quit.

Jan Parrish said...

Thanks for sharing Heather. I'm just beginning fiction and I know I have a lot to learn. Keep at it and I will too. :)

Kathy Kovach... said...

Gonna tell you a secret...published authors first drafts too. Yeah, even me. Who knew? My favorite quote comes from Hemingway: "The first draft of anything is(excrement.)" He also said this: "For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can." And this: "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." And my very favorite: "Courage is grace under pressure."

Kimberley Woodhouse said...

Loved this post by the way.

What would happen if we all stopped learning and growing? Our writing would stink, for one.

Keep on keeping on!

Paula said...

Great post, Heather!

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