New Year’s Resolutions
By Barbara D’Amato
I asked a few people, award-winning, wonderful writers, to comment on what they would work on in their writing this year. I think their writing could not be improved on, but it may encourage all of us if people as accomplished as they are have work lists.
Sara Paretsky says:
For years, I hoped that my writing could become freer. I worry too much about reactions to what I'm doing, by readers or reviewers or other parent surrogates--what Annie Lamont referred to as Radio Station WFCK-U plays in my head too much of the time while I'm writing. Now I'm less hopeful that I can change that dial. When I wrote Bleeding Kansas, a standalone novel set in the part of rural Kansas where I grew up, I was a little more playful, a little more lyrical, but I'd like to become more playful, more lyrical, more of a risk-taker in my writing. The trouble is, I'm at a loss on how to make that happen.
Someone once said of my writing, “You never use one word when three will do…” So I’m trying to work on being more concise.
I’m also tackling a new challenge... the story I want to write next is more mainstream (although it is a thriller). And it’s set in another country. Twenty-five years ago. Um…actually, I may have bitten off more than I can chew.
Michael Allen Dymmoch:
I'm still trying to develop some discipline. I'd be dangerous if I could keep at something long enough to finish it in a reasonable amount of time.
I am very much in Michael’s camp. I’ve been a terrible procrastinator this last year. As for content, I want to become more visceral. I seem to want to intellectualize everything, which doesn’t always work for the immediacy of the characters.
My informants above are all like Nancy Kerrigan, flawless.
Writers out there--what are you working to improve?