Is it sharing too much to say I belong to a support group?
I suppose not, since the group I’m referring to is simply for writers, not drug addicts or sexaholics. She Writes is a network of women (and some men) who gather online to encourage each other, share news, and offer information. Published, unpublished, best-sellers, first-timers, marketers, editors, bloggers—everyone is welcome.
Judith Marshall is one such writer. Her very first novel has been optioned and a screenplay is in the works. Here is some insight on a writer and her craft:
1. Do you have a specific writing style? I write visually. I’m inspired by movies and I tend to write in scenes with lots of dialogue.
2. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I love the process of writing a first draft, but revising can be difficult especially when a professional editor tells you something that you love doesn’t work. It’s hard to let your favorites go.
3. What is the wisest advice anyone has given you? When I first thought of writing a novel, I asked a friend and published author what I should do—take a writing class, join a writers group, etc. He said, “Just sit down and write.” That was the best possible advice I could have received. If I had known what I didn’t know about the craft of writing when I began, I think I would have been too intimidated to even start.
4. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I keep a list of my outtakes—every phrase or word that I love, but have cut from a draft. Right now I have 116 pages of outtakes, some of which I’m sure I’ll use in a future book.
5. What do you think about the current state of publishing? The bottom line is there are now more choices for authors to publish, which is a good thing. The publishing industry hadn’t changed in decades. But with the advent of indie publishing and e-books, traditional publishers have had to rethink their businesses. Agents, too, are having to reinvent themselves. Many have started offering help to indie authors in publishing their books in order to justify their 15% commission.
6. What is your biggest accomplishment in your writing career to date? Other than receiving more than 40 5-star reviews on Amazon, having my debut novel, Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever, optioned for the big screen is the most exciting. The book is being adapted into a screenplay at present.
7. What are your current projects? I’ve finished my second novel, Staying Afloat, the story of a devoted wife and mother who morphs into a sex-starved adulteress, and I’ve just started my third novel entitled Bitter Acres. I’m not sure what this story will be about. I have to wait and see where the characters want to go.
8. Do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers? Learn your craft. While it’s important to be a good storyteller, you must understand the elements of good fiction. Read books such as The Writer’s Journey, by Chris Volger and Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. Learning to write well should be an ongoing process.
You can read more about Judith at http://judithmarshall.net/.