I have the pleasure of having a guest post from author Lisa Caviness, who shares...
What Scares Me Most and Makes Me Happiest About Writing
When I first decided I wanted to write a book, I thought I’d come up with a plot and characters then over time I’d slave over my computer and those elements would melt into a book. How naïve! Yes, an engaging plot and interesting characters are important but those components represent a portion of the writing journey.
As a new writer, I read every book on writing I could (and the process still continues), joined writing organizations, and solicited advice from any writer, publisher, or editor who’d talk. The single most repeated advice I received was to find critique partners and have my writing tested through contests. As I submitted portions of my manuscript for critique, the fear of being judged and failing miserably was overwhelming. What if they tell me I’m horrible or wasting my time? Turns out I received a few cruel comments and some many encouraging remarks. So why were the negative comments overshadowing the good ones? After ruminating over the adverse observations, I realized the negative remarks confirmed my fears. Showing my work to the world is scary and uncomfortable.
I learned from my first experience in having my writing judged and critiqued that putting myself out there and learning to take the good and bad is a scary but valuable part of the publishing world and my journey to be the best writer I can. No one likes to be criticized and told his or her work isn’t good. The advice from discussions with critique partners and writing friends about handling negative reviews and critiques, was to learn from it, reject what doesn’t feel right, and then let it go. Criticism can hurt, but in most cases has extreme value. Every time I submit my work to someone, whether it’s to a critique partner, an editor, or as a book on the open market, it’s scary, but I’ve discovered the negative comments can help me improve my work and the positive comments validate a connection with the reader.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I love creating plots and placing interesting characters in perilous situations only to watch them wriggle free. Many people read fiction for escape (I do too) but creating and taking characters through highs and lows to an eventual successful outcome is therapy for me. My favorite part of the writing process is plot development and character creation. Everything is on the table, fresh, and unique. In a world where sometimes life doesn’t present so many possibilities, writing represents avenues where options are limitless. And that’s just pure happiness!
Order of Fear
by Lisa Caviness
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
Marissa Nash, part-time ballet dancer and accountant by day, plans to call off her wedding to her philandering fiancé, instead she finds him dead. Dr. Justin Tanner is the best man who harbors buried feelings for Marissa. As they uncover past secrets, throwing them into a deadly battle with an evil organization, they must also come to grips with their growing feelings threatening to leave them both shattered. Order of Fear is a romantic suspense novel.
The sticky sensation of David’s blood coated Marissa’s hands. This wasn’t supposed to happen. She’d been ready to tell him she couldn’t marry him. Maybe they could have worked through their problems, or maybe they could have parted as friends, but now he was dead. Anger and preoccupation would no longer alienate them. The easy humor and quick laugh that had been absent in recent weeks would never return.
Surrounded by blood, she glanced at one wall of the kitchen. Her stomach roiled as she studied the brain matter splattered on the wall like abstract art. The wall had once been tan, but was now stained a ghastly shade of red.
Marissa blinked several times, hoping to erase the sick scene, but the reality remained. David was dead.
The last few weeks she’d been embroiled in romantic, tranquil colors. Soft peach hued roses. Elegant gray candles. Delicate swirls of ruffled silver icing on a too-pretty-to-eat wedding cake. A snowy white wedding dress.
Now her world was blood red.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As a lifelong reader of an eclectic pool of books from mystery/thrillers, science fiction, contemporary romance, and the classics, Lisa Caviness has never been without a book on the nightstand and a long to be read list. Like many writers, she started crafting stories as a child. However as an adult, creativity took a back seat to her career in pharmaceutical and medical device research. In 2013, Lisa decided to get serious about writing and joined Romance Writers of America (Crossroads Romance Writers, Indiana RWA, and Kiss of Death Chapters) and later Sisters in Crime (Speed City Chapter). The education she has received, proved invaluable but more importantly the support from fellow writers has enriched her in thrilling and unexpected ways. Lisa writes romantic suspense.
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