I woke up very early Friday morning eager to read AG’s feedback to the scene I’d sent him earlier on. I was excited about this scene. I consider it the second most important scene in the book. I sent him mostly all dialogue because at this junction, I was more concerned about getting down what Ava and Josh needed to get through and understand about each other, than the actual setting in which the conversation took place.
I initially had a hard time reading through what he returned. As always, it was super thorough and thoughtful feedback…which in this case meant, he basically rewrote the entire scene for me.
Let me pause here for a second and explain a thing or two.
First, AG is a better writer than I am. He sent me some of the material he’s written, and it’s beautifully done. He is very intelligent and possesses an extensive vocabulary. We’re not in a competition with each other, he’s helping me, so it’s to my benefit he’s in fact a gifted writer, versus some guy who can barely write his name. But I wanted to believe I was somewhat good for a first time author…well, he put me to shame. Thankfully, I quickly humbled myself and got over it. Once again, choosing to see it as a blessing.
Second, he and I are alike in many ways but different in other critical ways. For example, if we walked into a room, and something was going on between people, I would pick-up on what’s going on much faster and easily decipher the situation. However, he would be better equipped to verbalize it. I’m intuitive, lacking in communication skills. He is more intellectual with the ability to easily express his thoughts, but less apt with reading situations and emotions. In that respect, for the projects we’re both working on, our strengths compliment each other well for what the other person needs.
But the thing with his feedback that got to me wasn’t my lack of writing skills in comparison to his, but that my inabilities to express myself in real life had permeated into my writing.
The dialogue I wrote made perfect sense to me although abrupt and entirely too direct compared to how normal people speak to each other. It however, made little sense to AG.
It was time to confess to AG something he probably needed to know about me, to assist him, as he keeps providing me feedback, and seeing what will likely be more bad dialogue. I confessed to him, as I am now confessing to you all, that I’m a loner and have never been one for expressing myself to others. I don’t spend a whole lot of time with people (mostly known for avoiding it by choice), as a result, my abilities to communicate have both deteriorated and were probably never all that strong to begin with.
His feedback made me realize I needed to slow down and really go over how my characters communicate and express themselves.
My characters need to be more gifted than I am in this, and well…all departments. Another glaring shortcoming AG I’m sure never intended to point out.
However, him unintentionally pointing that out also offered the potential for more depth to my characters, and another challenge for them to overcome together.
The writing of this book I knew was going to challenge me in many ways, which led me to make a second confession to AG, and now to you. As I did the research trip for this story, and worked through what my characters would be facing together, it made me wonder if their love story was even possible. Did I believe something like the story I was about to write could happen to me? The initial answer was “no”. I don’t believe in their love story.
So, as I write Ava and Josh’s love story, they will have to make me a believer. I figured if their story can’t convince me their kind of love is possible, than I best never publish this book. However, if their story can make me believe in love, I will in fact have written a true and powerful love story.
It was really tough to come to and make these confessions to AG in an email I sent him on Friday morning, but I trusted him with the information. Making the confessions to him, has allowed me to come to peace with them over the last couple of days, which is why I’ve written this blog post.
I shed light on them and they no longer have power over me.
I’m a complete loner who is working on forging better bonds through being more open with people and investing time in communicating, and expressing myself. This is very hard work for me.
I’m a romantic who doesn’t even believe in love, but wants to prove to herself it’s possible through writing a love story that challenges norms, pushes her characters to grow, and establishes real intimacy between two very strong individuals.
So there you have it…all because AG rewrote one of my scenes.