Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Writer's World Wednesday - Like Playing the Violin

I teach violin.  This is a new thing for me.  I was a good player in jr. high and high school, took private lessons for about eight years, and considered applying to Julliard School of Music at one point.  Thirty years and about ten attempts to get rid of my violin later, I've picked it back up again and am teaching beginners.


However, a few of them have progressed to the point of needing to learn vibrato.  For those of you unfamiliar with stringed instruments, vibrato is that shaky hand movement that takes notes from flat, dead things to vibrant, shimmery music.

But it's a very strange thing to learn.  It takes a long time and lots of practice to force your hand to shake back and forth while staying in the same place. It's not something you attempt to teach until a student has the basics of bowing and fingering down.  Learning vibrato takes a lot of brain power, so anything that's not cemented as a good habit will fly out the window.  That can be extraordinarily frustrating to someone who's worked hard to keep their bowing straight and their fingering in tune.  All of a sudden, everything they've been working for is gone and things sound worse instead of better.

And it's the closest comparison I can make to what I'm experiencing now in my writing.

Character development is a real struggle for me.  There are some writing teachers who believe that you are either a plot-first writer or a character-first writer.  Me?  95% plot, 5% character.  So, even though I have a lot of the basics of writing down, I am relearning the entire craft putting my character's motivations first and foremost in my brain.

It takes a lot of brain power.  My writing speed is down to about three pages a day. There are days I want to chuck this whole writing thing and become a full-time...anything else.  But I can't do that because...


I've been waiting for several weeks to announce, but wanted to wait until the ink was dry on the contract. I'm writing another novella for a Barbour 9-in-1 collection just like The Homestead Brides.  It's called The Cowboy's Bride and will release in March of 2016.

Thankfully, I have a fabulous crit group and a mentor who are overseeing my renovation to make sure the final manuscript is something you will want to read.

Until next time,


  1. SQUEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Wahooooooo! Way to go, Becca. That is so awesome. I loved your story in homestead brides by the way. You did a great job! Oooh, if you want a book recommendation, I have been really enjoying "Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook" as it has tons of character exercises and lots of fun ideas...but it tends to make your story long...which for a novella might be a bad thing. Anyway, you might like it. I'm so excited though, this will be about a year after your first novella, so cool!

  3. I hesitate to comment and give away that I am visiting blogs and not reading a MOST WONDERFUL book *wink*. But I have to"whoop" for joy at your news! Excellent, Becca! Hugs!!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. You bless me!