For every writer, there comes the ultimate dilemma: what comes first, your seven year old son’s soccer practice or the demise of your heroine, wrapped in her father’s ... easy to ... how
For every writer, there comes the ultimate dilemma: what comes first, your seven year old son’s soccer practice or the demise of your heroine, wrapped in her father’s arms?
It’s easy to understand how the writer/family clash occurs. Writing is a very solitary profession which demands a great deal of time. Being in a family is a very social profession which demands a great deal of time. But understanding it doesn’t solve it.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could combine the two? Well, I think you can. You can do things that will improve your writing and provide you with quality time with your family. Try these ideas on for size:
1). Get your family to read out the book for you. This will really help your editing, because nothing brings out awkward sentences and bad dialogue like the human voice. “Aw, Mum, no one would say that in real life. They’d say, ‘Sod off!’” “Start with, ‘You’ll never catch me, Mr Slocum. Apart from your absolute inability to find your own big toe, you don’t have the skills and you don’t have the talent.’"
2). Get your family to act out that scene that you just can’t get right. Send them out into the backyard, armed with plastic swords and cardboard boxes for hours and see just what will happen in your battle scene. What will the addition of rain to do the scenario, for example? And you’ll probably get to do a little extra research in healing.
3). Get your family to dress up as the characters. This would be especially helpful if you are having trouble visualising your characters. “Ah, yes, I had no idea James looked so dorky. I’ll have to remember that.”
4). Get your family to give you a blow by blow description of their day. Have your notebook handy and write down any brilliant that comes out of their mouth. “I’m sorry, darling, where did you say your boyfriend had his hand again? Really. That’s very interesting. scribble, scribble. And you weren’t in the least bit uncomfortable?”
5). Get your family involved in marketing your book. “Yes, darling, making as many balloon animals as we can in five days is important because of the scene on page 118.”
There you have it. Five fabulous ideas to bring your writing and your family together. Of course, all this quality time could have a disastrous affect: your family may be overcome with humiliation as their balloon giraffes are ridiculed, decide they don’t want to be involved and leave you in peace. A tragedy, to be sure.