Well, that’s a rather lofty title, eh? 😉
I really just wanted to share something with you this month. Recently I’ve been thinking about how much writing and reading can change our perceptions of the world. You enter the “story world” or the “story dream,” and magical things happen. You can become another person and see through her/his eyes. That’s the hope anyway, that the book will be so engrossing that you’ll forget you’re reading.
I have a new release, SONGSTONE, coming out next month. Right now, I’m finishing up the last touches before it goes into the formatting stage.
(Warning shameless promotional plug here: enter now to win a free paperback on Goodreads!)
This was a book that, in my research, took me to far-off New Zealand, to a pre-European-contact island world, and introduced me to a people with rich folklore, language, and traditions. I was in heaven searching through images of spewing lava, mysterious steaming lakes, lush jungles, mountain streams, and idyllic beaches.
The writing of this book changed me. It changed the way I think about culture. There’s was one point in the writing where I realized I’d pressed my authorial thumbprint on something the heroine said, using a dismissive aside about a particular island belief. (Revealing, unintentionally, that I personally didn’t buy into it.)
That sentence sat there festering in my manuscript. But then one day, I saw what was wrong with it (and I was a bit ashamed of myself, to tell the truth). I needed to become Kita (the heroine). I needed, as the author, to stop being me, and become a seventeen-year-old island girl who grew up in a world with no written language. I needed to be a girl who believed in myths and spirits, and I needed to go there wholeheartedly & without reservations. It was so freeing to decide I was going to do just that.
I’m happy to say I went back and revised that line. (No, I’m not going to share what it was, for that would spoil the victory of taking it out. ;))
So, I’ll leave you with a question.
Readers, do you ever have trouble “letting go” as you’re reading? How do you decide if you’re going to stick with it or simply set the book aside?
Writers, have you ever had an experience writing when you realized you were getting in your own way and needed to let go of you, “The Author,” and just get into your character’s head?