Guest Post Breanne: A Little Help From Friends Makes Writing Better
March 8, 2014
Friends are always needed when writing or editing or publishing, so without anymore of us writing our thanks, here is the lovely Breann on that very topic:
When Rebecca asked me to write a blog entry for her writing blog I was a little nervous. I’m not very good with people. I never know what to write about, but she reassured me, without knowing so, that it would be an easy task and that I should just talk about writing. How does one talk about writing? I didn’t really have any idea, but I would try. But to do that I have to give you a little story about myself first.
When I first began writing, the only thing I ever let myself write was poetry. That is all I had ever written and all I had ever believed I was any good at. If you would have asked me to write a story, or even a short paragraph (anything that didn’t rhyme), I would have skeptically asked if you were kidding, and then I would proceed to laugh at your serious expression because I genuinely believed that I didn’t have the merit for a good story teller. When my teachers would ask me to write a story I would actually go talk to him/her and ask if I couldn’t change the story into a poem. That’s how bad I believed I was.
I continued like this until I discovered the wonderful world of fandoms and fanfiction. This may seem comical, but I started writing poetry for fanfiction. I would watch my favorite television series (Merlin, Doctor Who, and now Sherlock) and write down whatever would happen to pop into my head.
I had an idea, though. I knew with this idea, it would be way too long to be a poem so I took a chance and I posted my first ever non-rhyming, non-poetry story. I hesitatingly posted on AO3 and FF.net. When I first received an email saying that I got reviews I was almost fearful. I had received bad ratings before on my work and I feared that this would be another time for that. But I was pleasantly surprised when I had clicked the little message and noticed all the kind comments I had received (It wasn’t many, but it was enough to know that at least a few people liked it, and that was plenty enough for me!).
A few chapters in I received a lovely review telling me that if I ever needed help, my now lovely beta would push me in the right direction if need be for my newest story (Red). I decided to continue writing fanfiction after my first well received story. I thought that I’d give it another shot. My awesome, wonderful beta, Rebecca Emrich, has been beta-ing for me since chapter five and the story has never been better! People tell you that behind every good writer there is a wonderful editor. I can definitely attest to this statement. I would not be this far into Red without her guidance!
So, my advice to any new writers would be this: don’t let fear get in the way of what you want to do, listen to what other people have to say, but take criticism with a grain of salt. There will be people out there that don’t like you or your work. (I’ve received criticism on me, when the reviewer had no idea who I was. That actually made me laugh because that person made premature judgements on me when they didn’t know me.) When people are genuinely trying to make your work better, listen to what they have to say! You will be able to tell the difference from someone being mean against someone helpful. And above all else, keep writing!
Thanks Breanne for this lovely guest blog post, a little help from friends does go a long way. Jordan and Rebecca