I may have to change that title. It sounds like I had a stroke and I’m in therapy, learning to write again. (Spoken by the mom of a boy who had hip surgery at age 4 and had to learn to walk for a 2nd time. Any question why I’m dreading the thought of more surgery?)
But really, a few times and from different sources, I’ve been referred back to “Techniques of the Selling Writer” by Dwight Swain. Since I otherwise don’t seem to be getting anywhere anyway, I finally decided it can’t hurt to give it a try. Actually, a second try. I tried reading it once, about 10 years ago, and it put me to sleep faster than chloroform.
My copy arrived yesterday, and what a surprise: it put me to sleep again. I slept through 4 innings of the Phillies’ game. (I hate when that happens, but at least I woke up in time to see Victorino’s game-winning hit. BTW, VOTE VICTORINO! www.phillies.com ) But I think this time, I may be in the right frame of mind to absorb what Swain has to say a little better than I was ten years ago. For one thing, one of the first elements he discusses is feeling, and that struck a chord with me. I went back to look at where I was stuck in my rewrite of “Worlds Apart” and I realized, the emotion was missing. What was there was rather dry, almost like a news account of events happening to the characters. Odd to say that even while the book put me to sleep, it also woke me up.
I plan to read some more, albeit a bit at a time. I’d like to stay awake past 9 for a change. But I also hope that this book will help me to learn to write again.