Guest Blogger: Tracey O'Hara who just yesterday signed a two book deal with Harlequin Spice Briefs!
I am very honoured to be invited here to guest post on your blog, CJ. Extra Pixie dust for you. =)
I have been writing for just over 4 years and every day I learn something new, whether it is about the craft, my characters or my story. But some of the best have been those “penny drop” moment.
You know the ones. It is when something suddenly becomes clear – something you may have been previously struggling with or something that just occurs to you. I love those moments.
One of my most memorable came about from contest feedback. I’d been struggling with the whole ‘show, don’t tell’ concept. Then one of the judges sent me an article on Deep POV. I realised that I was explaining what the character was doing and feeling. Instead I could ‘show’ what it was like in her head. The opening paragraph of my ms was -
The tropical night air hung thick and humid around Antoinette, as she crept quietly along the dank alley. Her clothes felt sticky against her skin and a tendril of hair, that escaped her braid, clung to the back of her neck. But she was only vaguely aware of these things as her eyes strained into the darkness ahead, searching.
Then I walked in her shoes – imagined what it would be like to creep down a dark alley on a hot and humid night – to feel the thick heavy air slicking hot sweat on my skin, sticking the t-shirt material to my body. And that is what I wrote. It was like being struck by lightning. All of a suddenly it made perfect sense. I got what the contest judges had been telling me. My new paragraph went like this -
The alley stretched ahead, dark and ominous...yet Antoinette moved forward, one deliberate step after another. Perspiration beaded on her upper lip, she ran a hand across her face to wipe it away before the saltiness slipped unwelcome to the corners of her mouth.
Damn this heat.
Sweat trickled down her back, robbing her of more precious moisture and she tugged the damp t-shirt away from her sticky skin. Sucking humid air into her lungs was like trying to breathe through a warm wet blanket.
I’ll be forever thankful to that judge in helping me discover that ‘ah-ha’ moment. I now aspire to help other new writers to have those moments, to give back what someone gave to me. This is my most intense ‘penny drop’ moment.
Reader Question: Do you have a moment like this, where you writing suddenly jumps from level to another as you finally understand?
Tracey O'Hara writes both paranormal and erotica and lives in the land down under. You can learn more about her and writing at her website.