Friday, November 12, 2010

Fiction Friday: Dig Deeper

Welcome to all of you who stop by today after reading my turkey day tips at She Cooks. Every Monday I have a feature I run called "In A Food Mood." I feature menus, recipes and anything else food related. This month I am featuring Thanksgiving recipes and I've got lots of fun things to run during the month of December as well. Please come back and visit! In the meantime, today I am running my regular Friday feature: Fiction Friday. If fiction fascinates you, read on!

My new edits are hard. This new book is totally different from The Mailbox. Mailbox was a light, fun beach read love story. And because I wrote these books back to back I carried that breezy beachy feel into this new story when I started writing it. But it's not a breezy beach book. Though the characters do go to the beach for a weekend at one point in the book, that's where the similarities end.

The problem, I have realized as I've battled through these edits in recent weeks, is that I merely skimmed the surface of the story. I did write the story from beginning to middle to end. My character did begin the story one way and went through a transformation as the story progressed. According to a checklist, I accomplished the mandates of fiction, at the bare minimum.

But I needed to dive below the surface. I needed to go deeper. Deeper into who the characters are, what their wounds are, what motivates them. In this case it isn't enough to just tell a fun story. I have to expose their vulnerabilities, which means I've got to expose a few of my own.

If you stay on the surface, it feels safer. To go deeper within the characters requires going deeper within yourself, as a writer and as a human being. But some stories-- most stories, I would venture-- require depth. As writers we should mine the depths of what we have to offer each and every time. That's what I am learning from these edits. I can stay on the surface and be a good writer. Or I can dig deeper and be a great writer.

I am learning as I go, digging as deeply as it requires and finding surprising reserves waiting when I do. It's not comfortable to dig deeper, but it makes for a much more compelling story.
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KT said...

Just popped over from She Cooks to your site and i just want to say that you have such a beautiful family. May God continue to bless you and your family!

Amy O'Quinn/picketfencemom said...

So true...digging deeper can be fiction and in ourselves!
Great post!

Allison Morrison said...

Looking forward to the new book! I know all of your hardwork will pay off and it will be a testament to God!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marybeth,
I love the new format of your blog and look forward to the different features each week.

Can't wait to read your next novel. Thanks for sharing all your adventures along the writing/pub journey.

Maria in CT

Deb said...

I can't wait to read your new book. I loved reading the Mailbox. It was such a good story.

Zibilee said...

I can't tell you how excited I am to read this book. Your new book is the one I am most looking forward to in the upcoming year, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. From what you told me at SIBA, it's going to be awesome, and I wish you luck in working on it!

Marybeth said...

Zibilee that means a LOT coming from you. You see a LOT of fiction. I am praying this book will live up to your hopes for it!! :)

Shari Braendel said...

I LOVE the cover!!!!!! MB, it looks amazing and YOU are amazing, too! I can't wait to read it....I know it will rock and I know my sister will be first in line to buy it from her idol Marybeth!!!! love you! me