Saturday, November 07, 2009

Pat Bertram is my Guest Blogger!

Most how-to books on writing suggest getting the first draft down as quickly as possible so that the passion shines through. This is good advice, and I would follow it if stories came easy to me, but they never do. I worried about this (for five minutes or so), wondering if my novels would feel dry and unemotional because I approach them as a puzzle, but the only difference between my way of writing and the so-called right way is that I do my thinking as I write rather than as I rewrite.
Is one way better than another? I don’t know, but if we accomplish what we set out to do, both the logical writers and the passionate ones can end up with interesting stories that will evoke emotions in our readers. In my case, during rewrites I get rid of much of the dryness that comes from the puzzle approach. In your case, perhaps, you lose some of that freewheeling passion when you organize what you have written into a more cohesive story.

We all have to find the best way to write. I am not condoning poor grammar, typographical errors, bad plotting, ignorance of story elements, or any of those other rules that new writers rail against. I’m talking about the fun of writing, the passion, the puzzle.

Samuel Johnson remarked, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” I guess that makes most of us blockheads, because we write knowing that except for a select group, there is little money to be made from writing. We need other reasons for spending so much time bleeding words.

For me, it’s the puzzle. As frustrating as it gets, I love figuring out plots, character’s motives, new ways of presenting common thoughts. Beats crossword puzzles any day.

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a lifelong resident. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Daughter Am I is Bertram’s third novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

Daughter Am I: When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents-grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born-she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians-former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for having me as a guest on your blog, Dellani. I hope you get to feeling better.

A. F. Stewart said...

I can relate to writing being like a puzzle. The way I write I'm always fitting pieces of plot and character together.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hi, Pat! Just me... dropping in to let you know I've posted about this at Win a Book.

katsrus said...

Hi Pat. Followed you from your facebook post. You books sounds wonderful! I am not a writer so I know nothing about that but; I sure love reading. I don't even know how to express how thankful I am for writers!

L. V. Gaudet said...

Some writers will argue with great passion on what is the right way to write.

I think the only right way is the way that makes you (the individual) write something that makes others want to read what you wrote.

No matter how the writing evolves that is the only thing that really matters.

Anonymous said...

I'm so pleased to see you all here.

Susan, since Dellani often has guests, perhaps she will start letting you know so you can post them on win a book.

A.F., people always say that readers will only feel the passion of your writing if you feel it. But the truth is, if the puzzle is put together properly, they will still feel it.

katsrus, I am pleased you followed me. We writers are thankful for readers, so it works out nicely for both of us!

L.V., Exactly! In the end, it's only the finished story that counts. Readers do not care how you got there, just that you did.

Sheila Deeth said...

There's passion in a puzzle too.

Anonymous said...

Hi all. How are you?

That's Quite a Character - Arista Lockhart from A Novel Romance by Dellani Oakes

The next morning, she woke around 10:00, stretching and smiling as she sat up. She felt rested and refreshed for the first time in yea...