Recently, I asked a fellow writer, Rebecca Taylor- author of Ascendant, to view the first two chapters of my *most recent* manuscript. I was nervous- nail bitingly so. Sure I have my husband and a few fail safe friends I ask to read over my work- requiring only that they sugar my ear with the sweet, sweet melodies of praise– But, when asking someone who’s in the “biz” to look it over…well, bizarre, hazardous, things seem to develop: My eyes see only the soft glow of my mac, phone, and ipod. My ears hear only the dreaded silence and ping from said devices. My hair thins- I swear that strand of 9.3 golden blonde on my shoulder tripled in collection within seconds! And, lastly, I can’t sit. I feel like an angst little boy sitting next to the swankiest girl in school- my limbs jerk about, I can’t stop rubbing my face, hair, or ears…My god, my eyes are even in on it as they twitch and tear. Needless to say, the waiting to hear back is insufferable.
It’s the ping sounding from my mac that saves me. Always. Cures me of these most unpleasant ailments.
With that said, sending my work to Becky was probably the most wonderful thing I could have done for ME- as a writer. She was professional. She was kind. She was honest. And most importantly, she CRITIQUED! That alone, to receive sound, professional advice, was…a most savory deliverance. She wasn’t the first author I’ve sent my work to for review- BTW, the twitching while waiting for response doesn’t calm. Just thought you should know. But, she was the first to help me find my natural writing voice. Which I personally feel is important to know, because even though you may love to read Steampunk, Romance, or YA Supernatural it doesn’t necessarily mean you should write said genres.
I’m determined to write YA- someday, but thanks to this wonderful lady my eyes are finally open and I’m able to see that though I may love to read YA- for now– my voice is Adult Historical fiction. Which explains all the giddiness I feel when it comes to researching places, clothes, and language of a particular era.
L-O-V-E it! Don’t judge.
I’m not saying you should go run off to the nearest fellow daydreamer- er, writer– and trust that he/she is going to help you find your voice. I trusted this person. Becky’s educated. She’s a trained psychologist- which, I’m sure plays an important role here- surely. She’s clever. She has that special *zing* that most of us wish we had. She works in a publishing house where she reads- I should assume- a mound of ms’s a day. What I’m trying to get through to you is- Rebecca Taylor knows her stuff.
If you are not so fortunate to have a Becky critique your work and aid in finding your natural writing voice, join a critique group! Most cities & towns have them. If not, start one up! I guarantee you’re not alone. Unless, of course, an apocalyptic nightmare has taken hold of your small, rural existence, targeting writers…and YOU ARE, in fact, the last lone wolf. If that’s the case…I want in!
You can find more on Rebecca Taylor, and her debut novel Ascendant at http://rebeccataylorbooks.blogspot.com, http://wattpad.com/RebeccaTaylorED & via Twitter: RebeccaTaylorED