Many, many years ago, I realized (the hard way, long story that I can't go into now! LOL) that I was supposed to be growing as a writer, but I wasn't! Before we're published, we all have a tendency to long for that day when we get the call because then, we believe, we will have made it. The hard work will be over!
Sorta true, but not true.
Selling a manuscript IS a huge deal. It is a milestone. But it is not the end.
Readers (and editors) aren't looking for huge changes in your writing but they do expect your stories and your writing of those stories to get better. So the day that I realized my writing hadn't gotten better and I knew I'd have to be doing some studying, I actually broke my writing into categories. Story, scene and words.
Sometimes I'm studying grammar. Sometimes I'm looking at the intricacies of a great story. And sometimes, when I read, I'm studying how a beloved author put together her story. The order of scenes. The way she constructed the scene.
I know. I know. You all know this stuff. But...
Couldn't you be a little better at it?
Right now, I have a big note above the manuscript I just started, reminding me of a criticism I got from a reviewer on my last book. I want to get rid of that writing tic.
I want to be better. Some day I'd like to be considered one of the best...which is kind of funny since there are thousands of incredibly talented romance writers out there. And lots of different tastes in books. And lots of different interpretations of what's "great."
But it doesn't hurt to have that goal...it drives me to think harder about my stories, to work more diligently on getting my scenes in order for maximum drama, and to delete, delete, delete poor phrasing and bad word choices.
As we rumble toward the year 2013 check yourself. Is there an area of your work you could improve?
Could you set it as a goal for 2013?