I am currently undergoing something I had not considered when I started as a collaborator and an editor. Attitude. Now, I’m not talking about myself and my writers possessing a bad attitude towards each other. Nor am I saying my writers have a bad attitude. What I am saying is attitude effects writing – good or bad.
It also effects the books in a series. Take the Gigolo series for example. It was originally written as a short story for a compilation we never got off the ground. That short story was written five years ago. Last year we published Gigolo-The Beginning as a novella with the idea we would continue the series for as long as it is wanted by the readers.
This affects your attitude if you are the one who is creating the context or doing the edits. The person I was five years ago was quite different than the person I am now. The same can be said for all my writers. As you age your attitude and your perceptions change. Which means the way you think changes which means the way you write changes.
It is inevitable that as you age your attitude towards life and people and the world changes. Sometimes for good, sometime for bad, and sometimes you simply stop caring one way or the other. Fatalism is in itself an attitude.
In Gigolo I found this to be a thing we needed to address. Gigolo is a dark book about a man who has entered the world of paid sex. He has become a gigolo and his story is all about the ups and downs; the good, the bad, the crazy, and the darkly funny. The dark comedic aspect of these books is their primary focus. Sure, there are sex scenes. There would have to be if a man is being paid to have sex with women.
Yet, how does he go about getting the clients? What do these women want from him? How does it affect his day in and day out? What does he have to do to keep those around him happy so he can get clients all while staving off an old debt he can’t hope to pay?
These are just some of the hundred questions I ask as an editor when ensuring the book flows from word to word, sentence to sentence, and scene to scene. What I have noticed is the woman who is writing this series, Lavender Mills, has changed the way she writes. Or rather, her attitude has changed.
I think for the better. When we started, she had little experience writing, little confidence in her capabilities to bring a character to life and how to ensure she keeps a plot going. It takes a lot of self-confidence to write. Even more to subject yourself to the whims and opinions and attitudes of those you submit your work to.
Believe me when I tell you, the writing business is filled with attitudes and egos. Egos often feeding the attitudes on both sides of the writing game. What tickles me is that no one ever really thinks about this as a writer progresses in their career.
The attitude of a young woman in her twenties is a far cry from one in her late fifties. How people react or respond is also how they write. Or rather their perceptions of a character’s attitude is how they write.
This is a flaw I have seen as we a create series. I have slowed down a great deal over the last five years. Less and less upsets me. I take my time to enjoy what I am doing and if I don’t like it, I stop. Why bother wasting the time if you don’t enjoy it?
However, in my teens to thirties I didn’t care if I liked something or not. If I had to get it done I did – period. Now I look at things so differently from that period of my life. I often wonder what my own writing would have looked like coming from a mind and an attitude like I carried back then.
There is a saying I like, “Only a human can make a hell out of heaven and a heaven out of hell.” I have found this to be so true. Especially when you are pouring your soul into a story. I wonder, is your attitude helping your story?
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.