Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Best Writing Year Ever Because...

This one took some thought.

One reference work notes that only a person who is strong survives to the age of eighty. Having passed that milestone and more a while back, I've observed strength and even growth in my case—not physical, but rather emotional—a deeper, more sensitized perspective of people in general and my characters in particular.

How does this affect my writing? Let's talk about the characters. Since starting my first novel more than 20 years ago, I've watched them evolve into three-dimensional people my readers can relate to. Unfortunately, this didn't happen overnight; hence, there have been a few revisions.

Lessons have come from the works of others. Some fiction pieces I've read over the years, for example, housed persons I could neither empathize with nor understand their behavior. My characters must never leave readers with the feeling of incomplete development and loose ends those characters left with me.

Then their authors began putting them in stories that made me uncomfortable. I stopped reading and began to play with the notion of writing a book—something I had dreamed of doing most of my life. Very soon, that debut novel will take one last bow. Why has this finally happened? My changing perspective and switch to literary writing allowed me to explore the depths of my characters much more fully than did the genre fiction I began with.

A couple of viewpoint questions come to mind. We writers are well aware that weaknesses exist in our make-believe people. In fact, we make regular use of them in character development, but how do we feel about them? Do we embrace them? Do we endow our protagonists with this human quality? My characters often grow from weakness into strength, into understanding, into compassion, into love. (Of course, the antagonists usually grow in a more negative direction.)

So, with updated perspectives, broader horizons, and a passion to give my fictional people greater latitude in being "real" humans, I walk—and write—into the second decade of the twenty-first century. Because my characters are not superheroes, but just ordinary individuals who populate the pages in my books, we will tell our stories together. Why? Because 2020 is the best writing year we've ever had.

Editor Linda Lane has returned to her first love—writing—while still maintaining some editing work. Her novels fall into the literary category, which means they don't follow genre rules. While their quick pace reminds the reader in a number of ways of genre fiction, they're character driven rather than plot driven. You can contact Linda at her websites: LSLaneBooks.com and DenverEditor.com.


  1. I am in awe of your resilience, Linda. I want to be you when I grow up. LOL Your story is an inspiration to everyone and a testament to the truth that you are never too old.

  2. I second Maryann's comments, Linda. I wish you the best writing year ever in 2020 and for many years beyond.

  3. I'm looking forward to finally getting novel #1 out of my hair, putting the last touches on novel #2, and moving on to other projects that are waiting their turn. I'm hoping 2020 will, at the very least, be the most productive. :-)

  4. I read the opening paragraph three times, not because it was difficult to understand but, rather, difficult to believe. In agreement with your fellow bloggers.

    1. Thank you, Liz. As the years fly by, I feel a growing urgency to spend more time writing than I have been able to in the past. So many ideas bounce back and forth in the head. So many stories were abandoned when life interfered. Now, it's upward and onward! :-)

  5. Inspiring post, Linda. I'm right behind you. It took 13 years to publish the first book I ever wrote. I don't think it was the absorption into my character as much as fixing what I didn't know I didn't know in the beginning stages. Keep going. I'll still be right behind you.

  6. Great post, Linda! Looking forward to what the new year brings for you and the rest of the BRP crew!


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.