of nuts. Some seminars provided much needed nourishment for my writer’s soul,
and some made me just that – nuts.
I attended a seminar about dialogue tags that offered valuable advice. Too bad
I spent the entire time freaking out. Oh my God, she’s talking about me. I
use way too many adverbs. I am the queen of adverbs. I’m a hack. Run, Audra,
run, before they hold you up in front of all these people as the prime example
of sucky dialogue tag writing.
But if I think back to my college days, who did my English professor hold up
as the example of poor writing skills? Judy Blume. And who hasn’t read a Judy
Blume book? I defy you to find someone from my generation who can’t complete
this sentence: “I must, I must, I must increase my…”
Something about her writing speaks to people, and so they read her books,
enjoy them on some level, and then they recommend them to others. Which is
exactly the point that was made at the next seminar I attended. Write something
that you love, and it will be lovable. Market in a way that you enjoy,
and it will be enjoyable. Maybe not by everyone, but by somebody. And if
somebody loves and enjoys something, they’ll want to share it with others.
It’s so true. I sat next to this lady at the autograph party and she was
telling me how much fun she had writing her new fantasy series. She described
her most recent protagonist and his pet gargoyle with such enthusiasm, next
thing I knew I was buying the first book in the series. I’ll probably be
recommending it on Goodreads shortly.
So while there will always be ways in which I can improve my craft, I
discovered that I am doing something right. My first novel was a labor of
love, and I know that’s why others love it. My second book was a blast to write,
and I know people will have a blast reading it. That’s the key. What does it
matter if I am not the most skilled writer of all time? So what if I
never make it on the New York Times Best Seller list? Am I offering something
that I love and enjoy? Are others loving and enjoying it? The answer is ‘yes,’
and that’s exciting, because to me that is the true definition of success.
Even so, I do plan to ease up on the adverbs.