Each of us would like to be published. There’s some prestige about it, a sense of accomplishment. But, before you can see your work in print (or on a screen), you have to first finish it; and that, frankly, is a lot of work, which is easy to become discouraged about. Sometimes, you can have all the “pull” in the world–the right characters, the right setting, the right customers, just waiting.
But your writing has a heart. Without it, writing is lackluster, good characters become untrue, and the plot becomes some stiff format instead of something as living and organic as the world it is supposed to manipulate.
That heart has to come from somewhere—and it comes from you. There is no other possible source. If you don’t care about whatever you’re writing, your readers won’t care, either.
I know I have no place to lecture other writers on this, but it is a topic I rarely see mentioned in any writing advice. You have to love what you’re writing.
It is why I haven’t worked on Swift Magic before now. I was missing something. The Swift Codex is a complex world with a main character who struggles to make her way through it. Feral Magic was about a woman finding out who she is and choosing between scraping by or risking it all for a childhood dream. It took me a while to feel out the next stage of her journey, the next time when a major obstacle will be encountered.
In Swift Magic, she is faced with people depending upon her to make decisions on subjects she has little experience in, a villain who poses as a friend, and her own failures. Will she learn to cope with her own insecurities? Or, perhaps the better question, how will she learn to cope with her insecurities? And what of her treasonous ally? Will she make the right decisions?
Yes, it is a simple way to condense the plot, but do you see how easily this journey can fall to pieces if it wasn’t written with heart? Give fifty writers this prompt, and you will receive fifty unique responses, with differing moods, paces, obstacles. It is what speaks to them, and it comes from their heart. Next time you take up your writing tool, I challenge you: Write down what is at the heart of your current work. Keep it handy. And always stay true to what is in your heart.
Your Dearest Nicolette