War of the Words
by Jane Porter
Iím in my own
special writing place, a place that is hellish and yet oddly
comfortable as I seem to spend lots of time here, wondering what Iím
writing, wondering where this is going, wondering how I can possibly
pull yet another rabbit out of the hat--an even harder feat when
youíve got no hat. (Or plot. Or likeable characters).
My preferred method
of writing is to work in a feverish flush of imagination and
determination. I used to get lost in my stories, used to be
consumed by the passion, and the words flowed.
Or maybe my memory
fails to serve. Maybe I never wrote hard and fast and painlessly.
Maybe Iíve blanked those details out, much the way mothers blank out
the pain of childbirth.
I do know some books
come easier than others. Every couple of books the story falls onto
the page. Mrs. Perfect, my newest novel out, was that way.
I poured that story out in a monthís time, living at my desk in a
fog of plot and motivation and emotion.
My current book
isnít like that. Itís a haaaaaaaaard write. Itís a slooooooow
write. So hard and slow Iíve had to push the deadline back
repeatedly. It was originally due May 15th, and then
June 15th, and now its July 5th and thereís no
more pushing back. It has to be in. It has to be done.
Looking back, the
writing of Mrs. Perfect was work, but this new one, More
Than a Pretty Face, is war. This book is a bed of nails, and
every chapterís excruciating as I write a couple words and then
struggle, and then write another couple words and struggle some
more. I pace and sit down and write another few lines and then pace
and go outside and then come inside and force myself to sit down and
write a few more. And Iím only now on chapter 13. That leaves
about ten chapters to do in 8 days. Without revising, editing,
When did writing get
so hard? Or was it just always hard and I wasnít writing so much,
or feeling the sales pressure, the review pressure, the success
I have to say, there
are days when I would give anything to be the writer in the attic,
unpublished, unknown and in love with my prose. But I canít go
back, and truly, itíd be cowardly to retreat now. Iím in the thick
of it, in the heat of the battle. The only thing I can do is write
with courage. Write with what Ray Bradbury calls Ďzest and gusto.í
I can do that. And
my readers deserve no less.
Jane Porterís July 2006 release, Flirting With Forty (5 Spot), was
picked by Redbook Magazine as its Red Hot Summer Read before being
optioned as a Lifetime Christmas 2008 TV movie. Jane's newest novel,
Mrs. Perfect, (May 2008, 5 Spot) has also received tremendous
acclaim from her readers. www.janeporter.com