15 February, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - Writing Advice That’s Just Right by Merry Jones

*** Special Feature - February 2017 ***

About the Author:

Merry Jones is the author of some twenty critically acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has been translated into seven languages. Her previous Elle Harrison novels have been The Trouble with Charlie and Elective Procedures. Jones lives with her husband in Philadelphia.

Contact the Author: 
Website * Facebook * Twitter 

Writing Advice That’s Just Right
Merry Jones

The best writing advice I’ve even been give consists of two words: Just write.

This advice is especially good because it’s easy to remember. Two syllables. Nothing complicated. No magic, mythology or muses involved. Certainly, this advice is not the only advice that has helped me. But make no mistake; those two simple syllables pack power. They don’t debate. They don’t quibble. The don’t back down in the face of arguments, excuses, shortages of self-confidence, tendencies to procrastinate or any other in a vast legion of obstacles.

Just write.

My husband says this to me whenever The Doubts hit. Doubts about my abilities, doubts about a specific manuscript. Doubts about the state of publishing, bookselling, reading, writing, literacy, the economy. About changing technology and its impact on books. About the purpose of the work, its intrinsic value— 

Just write.  

He says it when I feel overwhelmed by all the things besides writing that I should be doing; he says it when I’m overwhelmed by whatever I’m writing at the time. He says it when my characters begin to rebel against my ideas and I have trouble reining them in.  And when they become limp and uninteresting, or cloying, or predictable. He says it when I don’t know how to untangle a snafu in the plot. And sometimes he says it when he doesn’t know what else to say and is probably sick of dealing with my issues about this gift/curse/profession/obsession called writing.

Just write. 

But I have to vacuum—The house is a mess.

Just write.

But I have no ideas.

Just write.

I’m no good; my ideas suck.

Just write.  

It’s late. It’s early. The dog threw up. I have to make dinner. The lawn needs mowing, the laundry needs washing, the bills need paying. We need to redecorate. We need to plan our retirement.  

Just write.

Strong and simple, those words prevail. They become a mantra, something internalized that I now can hear even when he’s not actually saying it.

Just write.  

Even when I follow this advice, I don’t know where it will lead. I still have cases of The Doubts. I still get stuck on plot points. I still have errands and chores and competing responsibilities. But those syllables reduce the problem to its simplest form. With basic, soothing rhythm, they assure me that I don’t have to know all the answers yet, that plot points will eventually evolve and reveal themselves, that laundry and bills and even retirement planning can wait for a little bit. 

I suspect that, like me, many who write do so not merely because they want to, but because they have to. Some of us are compelled to spew words onto the page. If we don’t—If we stifle our voices and don’t let our words out, they collect in our minds, building pressure volcano-like inside us until, whether literally or figuratively, our heads explode.  

And so, for many of us, it’s not a matter of choice. Our very health and stability provide the best reasons to follow this deceptively easy-sounding but often difficult advice:

Just write.

Book Details:
Genre: Thriller, Suspsense
Published By: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 1608091910 (ISBN13: 9781608091911)
Series: Elle Harrison Thriller #3 (Each can be read as a Stand Alone Novel)

Since her husband’s murder two years earlier, life hasn’t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She’s selling her house and delving into new experiences―like learning trapeze.
Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from juvenile detention where he served time for killing his abusive father. Within days of his release, Elle’s school principal, who’d tormented Ty as a child, is brutally murdered. So is a teacher at the school. And Ty’s former girlfriend. All the victims have links to Ty.
Ty’s younger brother, Seth, is in Elle’s class. When Seth shows up at school beaten and bruised, Elle reports the abuse, and authorities remove Seth and his older sister, Katie, from their home. Is Ty the abuser?
Ty seeks Elle out, confiding that she’s the only adult he’s ever trusted. She tries to be open-minded, even wonders if he’s been wrongly condemned. But when she’s assaulted in the night, she suspects that Ty is her attacker. Is he a serial killer? Is she his next intended victim?
Before Elle discovers the truth, she’s caught in a deadly trap that challenges her deepest convictions about guilt and innocence, childhood and family. Pushed to her limits, she’s forced to face her fears and apply new skills in a deadly fight to survive.

Purchase Links: 
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