Monday, October 19, 2009

What's holding you back?

A few weeks ago I decided to reach my goal weight by Thanksgiving. I've been struggling with those last few pounds for a year now and I am determined to get keep them from following me into the New Year.

As far as my writing is concerned, there are a few other things hanging around that I believe have kept me from getting a contract from a major publishing house. One of my biggest offenders: Head hopping, according to a friend of mine who is helping me polish my latest manuscript. I have a tendency to write my story through the eyes of whoever happens to be in a particular scene. It doesn't matter if it's a key player or a one time Joe who delivers roses to our killer's next victim.

Only tell the story through the eyes of your hero and heroine, my friend told me. Occasionally you may get into the head of the villian, but do so sparingly.

I don't know if I completely agree. As a reader, I like to hear the story through conflicting viewpoints. I think it offers a greater depth into each character. But I suppose the main character is the only one the reader really cares about. Don't share the love too much.

Regardless of how much I like to head hop, I want to get this book published. Even if I don't agree with every rule and nuance, at this point in the game, I should be willing to play by their rules. What's that old saying? He who owns the game, makes the rules.

I would be well advised to remember that.

So what about you? What last few pounds are holding you back from reaching your writing goals? Do you head hop? Do you rely too heavily on adverbs and adjectives? Do you prefer to make up your rules as you go along and hope to find a publisher willing to bend her guidelines to suit your manuscript?

Here are a few tips that might help you on your journey to achieving your goals starting this beautiful October morning.

1. Never ever, ever quit! Consistency and persistency are the keys to success!
2. Thoughts become things. If you think you can do it …you can do it!
3. Join a team. Find friends who offer support, accountability and motivation for whatever your goals are.
4. Don’t just sit there. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.
5. Have written goals. Use them to create your action plan.
6. Start with one new habit and build on that.



  1. I think head hopping does hold you back in selling, and here is why I think that is: because you give too much away when you head hop. When you force yourself to write from only one POV or two, then you can only see the story from that POV, letting you and best of all, the reader, discover the story as the characters do. It builds suspense, and makes the discovery a page turner. Best of luck!

  2. Good advice, Teresa.
    "Just doing it" works.
    Of course you can always call your writing omniscient voice. It will come back into vogue sometime - everything comes back eventually, you know. Suite Francaise is "in" now and it's all omniscient.
    Lisa at

  3. Best advice--Just do it. Rereading my own ms has made me realize what Elizabeth said is true. There are better ways to tell certain things. But then I always liked Omniscient. "Little did he know..."

    Maybe it will come back around.