MuseTracks is pleased to welcome journalist, radio host, reviewer, and author L. Anne Carrington. She has brought us some sound advice and an excerpt. Enjoy!
Famed author Anne Rice once gave this advice to new writers: “There are no rules in this profession. Do what is good for you. Read books and watch films that stimulate your writing. In your writing, go where the pain is; go where the pleasure is; go where the excitement is. Believe in your own original approach, voice, characters, story. Ignore critics. Have nerve. Be stubborn.”
In most cases, these words couldn’t ring more true. A few writer colleagues discussed their ideas of developing their respective novels with me, and confused by the conflicted feedback she’d received on her manuscript, one had shelved her own project for some time.
“Just write,” I told her.
She once again dusted respective manuscript, encouraged by telling her story first, and worked on the editing details later.
We all read the books, the blogs, attend the conferences, frequent the message boards and websites, attend the writer’s groups and conferences, yet we’re still left scratching our heads in bemusement as to if we’re creating our work the “right” way.
Maybe that’s the problem; we’re so focused on turning out the perfect manuscript and getting published that we’ve lost focus of the true purpose of potential books: to tell our stories.
Some writers tend to think in order to “sell” their work, they must dash out something that’s the current “trend,” but once the market is saturated with a specific genre, your work will remain on the slush pile for an undetermined amount of time.
Write what you know, not what’s “in style.” There’s a story that’s run through your subconscious for months (or years, if you will), characters yearning to be created and developed. Why not share them with the world? Who cares if they aren’t the “current trend?” It’s your work in progress; make it your creation!
There’s no guarantee that your work will get noticed by a publishing house sooner, but it won’t be competing with thousands of other stories with the same theme. Sometimes, it’s good to write a novel about a subject that isn’t trendy or cool, but at the same time, can grab a reader’s attention and tell an amazing story from the first chapter to the final sentence of the last page.
Pay attention to advice and feedback, but don’t take all of it literally. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself into a frenzy and just become frustrated. Try incorporating a few of those suggestions into your work. If the ideas improve your manuscript, by all means, use them. If not, it’s fine in some cases to skip suggestions.
Yes, novels are written for readers to enjoy and take them away from the world’s woes, but at the same time, it’s also good to bring something to the market that is original and exciting. Who knows, your book could begin the next big trend, but not if you don’t take risks and bring your own voice and excitement into the mix. I’ll see you on the book shelves and e-readers!
EXCERPT FROM UPCOMING BOOK THE MARILYN DIARIES:
Late June 13/Early June 14, 2011
I’ve had plenty of what I like to call “Murphy’s Law (anything that can go wrong will go wrong)”days since starting at CONSOL, but today started out as the worst thus far. When I say “started,” the day ended on a high note, which is why I’m still awake at four-thirty in the morning and plan to take a personal day from work.
Everything went downhill from the moment I arrived at work. Janice was in a foul mood; I must’ve been the only person on whom she didn’t unleash one of her fits. A wrestling show was in town, and I swear they drove poor Rodney and other arena security personnel insane!
A freak thunderstorm came into Pittsburgh shortly before lunch and we lost power. Try doing office work these days with zero electricity…not going to happen. Duquesne Light seemed to take their good old time once the storm passed, which made Janice even more difficult to contend with. I don’t want to know what those poor guys in security went through before power was restored around three o’clock. Since we obviously couldn’t have lunch, the majority of employees were ravenous once the lights came back on. Vending machine raid…haha! Toni and I ended up splitting pizza from a place across Fifth Avenue.
Things were quiet for a while this afternoon (Janice’s grouchiness aside) until I finished at five. I walked to the parking lot alone today since Rodney was busy with security detail for tonight’s event. Of all evenings, Little Putt Putt didn’t start at all. Not on the first, second, or even fifth try! Worse, when I went to call Joe to see if he could pick me up after his shift (since the buses are often crowded and it’s almost impossible to get a cab during evening rush hour) and the auto club to pick up Little Putt Putt, my cell phone was dead! I know God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but this whole day was ridiculous.
Looking back, I think Little Putt Putt’s latest trouble could’ve been a sign from God things were (are?) about to turn around for me. Before I headed to a nearby pay phone, I lifted Little Putt Putt’s hood to see if I could immediately spot the latest problem (though I’m no expert on cars) and tie a white cloth showing a disabled vehicle, which avoided Little Putt Putt being tagged and towed as “abandoned” by the city, and me stuck with abominable charges.
I never made it to a phone, but almost had the life scared out of me – at first.
When I looked up from under the car hood, a man was standing on its other side. I wasn’t sure what to think since I heard the Rescue Rapist is still at large. He approaches unsuspecting women offering to help with some kind of problem, but instead takes them to isolated areas where they are raped. Janice warned us about the guy, but I never thought much about it since – with the exception of tonight – Rodney always accompanied me to and from the parking lot.
Well, this man wasn’t the Rescue Rapist, but a genuine Good Samaritan. He was a bit heavyset with short dark hair (a few gray strands blended in), a welcoming smile, and perhaps the most intense brown eyes I’ve ever seen. He wasn’t terribly tall, but certainly taller than I am. Judging from the way he was dressed, I presumed he came to Pittsburgh for business.
He introduced himself as Peter and wondered if I had car trouble. I laughed and said Little Putt Putt dying was common. Wow, you can tell I have little experience with men! Haha!
Anyway, next thing I knew, Peter had his suit jacket off and fiddled under the hood. I don’t know what he did, but Little Putt Putt turned over on the first try – something that never happened the entire time I’ve owned that crazy car!
The most amusing part was when Rodney came outside to the lot on his break and spotted me talking to Peter. He wanted to know if I “failed to tell him something” after Peter left for the Marriott to change clothes. When I asked what he meant, Rodney wondered why I never told him that I “knew Pete Klass.” Of course, I had no clue what he meant.
“I forgot you don’t follow wrestling,” Rodney said before he filled me in on who Peter really was, his career with both Global Wrestling and International, and he now worked backstage as a producer for most of International’s shows. “You don’t have to worry about Pete, Marilyn. He seems like a nice guy, at least the few times I’ve talked to him.”
Even though Little Putt Putt started, I didn’t get home until about an hour ago. Rodney invited me to hang out with him during Live From…, even though he had to work security detail most of the evening.
Rodney told me during one of the commercial breaks he overheard Peter got in some kind of trouble for barely returning on time from the Marriott. Just what I needed to hear; the poor man reprimanded for being kind enough to help me with my car. Surely Peter’s bosses didn’t expect him to show up in a dirty, greasy suit! If I didn’t feel guilty before, I certainly did after Rodney told me what happened.
He managed to drag Peter from backstage after the show and they came over to where I was sitting. Peter looked surprised that I was still at the arena. Dummy me; I blurted an apology about his getting in trouble for running late because of my car problems. Peter smiled and said no apology was necessary before he asked me to dinner. Eleven-thirty was rather late for a meal, but I‘d eaten nothing since the late lunch with Toni.
Long story short – I’ve rambled enough at it is – we had dinner at the Marriott and talked for a long time (at least between fans asking Peter for pictures and autographs. Seriously, I wouldn’t want his job.). When the restaurant/lounge closed at two AM, he walked me to where Little Putt Putt was still parked. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses before parting ways.
I’m now exhausted, but need to set the alarm so I can call Janice and let her know I’m taking a personal day. I probably won’t hear from Peter again (he likely meets girls every night), but tonight had a memorable ending to what started as a horrible day.
Donovan closed the diary and grinned at a group of people surrounding him in the locker room. “For those of you not already familiar with the story, now you know through my mother’s own words the true story of her and Dad’s fateful meeting.”
L. Anne Carrington is an author, freelance writer/journalist, and radio show host whose previous work covered topics from fiction to news stories, human interest features, and entertainment reviews. She wrote The Wrestling Babeinternet column for seven years, is a former music reviewer for Indie Music Stop, former book reviewer for Free Press (an imprint of Simon and Schuster), and pens several other works which appears in both print and Web media. One of her freelance articles, An Overview of Causes of Hearing Loss and Deafness, was bought by Internet Broadcasting Systems, a company that co-produced NBCOlympics.com for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics in addition to being the leading provider of Web sites, content and advertising revenue solutions to the largest and most successful media companies.
In addition to the December 2010 publication of her bestselling novel The Cruiserweight by Night Publishing, Ms. Carrington hosts The L. Anne Carrington Show on Spreaker Radio Wednesdays at 2:00 PM Eastern.
Ms. Carrington spends time between Pittsburgh, PA and Tampa, FL, continuing to write.
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