Embracing the Joy of Writing Craft

The Never-Ending Quest for Knowledge

Since I dove deep into fiction writing in 2013, I’ve been in love with writing craft. Learning has always been one of my passions. My husband likes to joke that I try something new every three years and is impressed that writing has stuck with me for so long. He’s not wrong.

The problem and joy of writing craft is that resources are EVERYWHERE. Some cost, some don’t. Some are powerful, others weak. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. It’s fun—and annoying. Why can’t I just know everything, damn it?

The Overwhelming Abundance of Resources

In my quest for Ultimate Knowledge, I’m on a billion newsletters with great content for writers: craft, marketing, self-care, community. Sometimes, I feel resentful of all the awesomeness out there—a very first-world problem. I also suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). What if the key to my authorial success is in that webinar?

Recently, I tried to list all the resources (webinars, classes, handouts) I need to go through. Confession: I am an education hoarder. Seriously. Both in print and digital formats. Plus, there are piles of notebooks from all the classes I’ve taken. When am I going to have the time to go through everything? Never. And yet, I’m not getting rid of ANYTHING. Because you never know.

Focusing on What Matters

What I hope to do is focus on one aspect of craft at a time and take a deeper dive, leaving my thoughts here. Then I can add my blog to my resource list of things I should check back with and never will. Huzzah!

Right now, I’m fascinated by the magic of ideas colliding and resonating. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes it seems as if the Universe is sending us personal messages? It’s likely mindset. When I’m concentrating on something, it’s only natural to see it everywhere (like when I bought my new car).

A Mind-Blowing Presentation

I was one of the speakers at Wanna Write Romance 2024. Wanting to be a good presenter and team player, I attended as many sessions live as possible. Not a hardship, as you can tell from my opening statements. One of my favorite presentations was a live session on the last day by Tere Michaels.

Tere also presented at Spring Fling 2024 in Chicago. Her session was so inspiring, I staked out the auction table at the banquet to ensure I won a developmental edit from her. And then there she was again at Wanna Write Romance. Her session there was even more mind-blowing.

Writing what makes the writer super-happy is the secret sauce to enjoying the craft and producing engaging work.

She talked about the writer’s id—writing what makes the writer super-happy. If you ever get the chance to take her talk on this, you should. Here’s her editing website: Writer Garage.

Her talk made my brain ping like a pinball machine. This is where I want to focus: really dig into what I love to write and make writing fun again. Then yesterday, I saw that Savannah Gilbo’s podcast, Fiction Writing Made Easy, had a new episode with Theodora Taylor on Universal Fantasy—finding the moments in books/TV/movies that make you love it. One example was Cinderella.

Discovering What Resonates

Cinderella is a trope now, but Taylor went deeper, figuring out what makes a Cinderella trope. It’s about a woman (or man) who’s been kicked around finally getting the beautiful life she deserves. That really sparked something in me and motivated me to dive into this idea.

In theory, figuring out what I love to write and read and putting those elements in my books will make them more enjoyable to write, read, and market. The trifecta!

It made me think about the books I have on my Awesome Shelf that I know I’ll re-read. Often, I don’t go through the entire book, but certain parts. That seems like a clue. Then I thought about movies I love that I watch over and over. There are always scenes I’m eager to get to. Also a clue.

Inspiration from Movies

I think about Dead Poets Society. Fantastic movie. I love the whole thing (except for when the very bad thing happens, of course). But that last scene, when the boys show their appreciation for their teacher in the most pitch-perfect way, it gets me in the feels every time. Every. Damn. Time. It’s a perfect storm of a boy finally making a stand, honoring the teacher’s profound effect, and a fuck you to the establishment. Chef’s kiss. It’s also a callback to several moments in the movie.

Moving Forward with New Insights

So, what am I going to do with this revelation? No clue! But I hope to think about this when I write my next ending.

Certain scenes are always my favorites to write. I adore altered consciousness scenes—when characters aren’t in their usual minds due to alcohol/drugs, illness, high stress, or trauma. It’s not a usual writing list item (like setting, dialogue, description, sex, fighting, etc.). I knew I liked writing it, but didn’t think beyond that. I certainly never thought to leverage that love to make my writing more fun and engaging.

What else do I love to write? Sex scenes, if I’m feeling it (no pun intended). Emotionally charged scenes when someone is being seriously wronged. I love the melodrama! It appeals to the angsty teenager inside me. I love a good grovel.

Now I’m off to discover more things I love to read/write.

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