4.9 things writing teaches: a guest post by Lauri Owen

Lauri Owen, who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, started reading fantasy novels in the third grade, and other than taking time out to sleep, never really stopped.  For more than a decade, though only in her free time, Lauri worked as a cop, but in 2003 she changed her mind and became a civil rights lawyer instead. She spent her first three lawyering years in Bethel but now resides in the Anchorage metro with her elementary-school-aged son and many rescued cat companions.  Fallen Embers, the first chapter of the Embers series, hits the shelves this fall.

Wow. After just finishing my first book, I can tell you that the lessons writing taught me still stand purple and bruise-fresh on my metaphoric authorial eye. Experience is certainly a tough teacher; is it truly possible – even for an author! – to convey how heartrending we find some of the lessons we learn?

1.  For one – and it’s a big one: learning how much suffering I can bear when all thesauri have been exhausted, I’ve run all possible web searches , and still. Still. I.Can’t.Find.The.Right.Word.

2.  I do not need three descriptors, much less three sentences!, to describe one emotion. Maybe this one sounds like a no-brainer, like something you should just “get,” or that you would catch on that thirty-fifth read, but boy!, is it ever hard to avoid when you really want to make an extra-fine point. (See #1.)

3.  Facebook is my friend. Even when it’s 2:00 am on a workday and I have 1400 unread messages, 49 friend requests, and an untold slew of suggestions from well-meaning fans, I Keep In Mind that I am Networking, which my publisher says is a Very Good Thing.

4.  Other book reviews yield many gifts, the most profound of which include equal measures of awe and terror, aka Did I, too, use too many intersentence clauses? Will someone make these same equivocal, or worse, ambiguous, comments about my writing? Will my editor catch all my typos? Whoops! Time for another edit . . .

4.9  Sixteen edits, including prolific rewrites, does not mean I have OCD. Now, if I gave in to number 17, or number 35, maybe there’d be a problem.

1 thought on “4.9 things writing teaches: a guest post by Lauri Owen”

  1. All great, Lauri! I'm particularly hit by Nos 2 and 4.9. Maybe it has to do with recently being told I'm not in the final running for a fiction contest meanwhile getting good scores and encouraging comments from the judges. Edit number fifteen does indeed not make me OCD… Just determined.

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