Archive for April, 2016

Squeezing Juice from Pineapple Juice


Hello Lovely Readers,

It’s me, back again after a semi-long absence. But I was away on a most important, juice-squeezing quest.


As the title states, that’s what they’re all about. Getting the best from the best, then capturing it on paper.

I’ve just finished the 3rd revision to Beneath the Willows, my historical romance novel set in antebellum New Orleans. The story is strong, the pacing solid and the characters are happy. Which, of course, is most important as it was they who shared the tale with me in the first place.

And then there’s Frank and Francine – my ideal readers. They’re pleased as alcoholic punch. I even received a congratulatory post card from Frank’s vacation in the Caribbean. It was nice, as the picture was of him lifting a peach-colored, pineapple cocktail in toast.

So what have I learned?

Well, I’d have to say that the process of writing makes  writing better. As I moved through the novel, I noticed a tighter and smoother flowing story the deeper I went.

The beginning was sort of rough, while the end was near polished and dynamically charged. Therefore, more work was needed in the beginning.

Which is perfect, as the beginning is what makes you, the reader, want to continue onward.

Next, I’ve realized that I’m cursed with repetitive words. You know, words that repeat several times until you’re repeating yourself over and over repetitively? Those.

Fortunately, it just takes a little squeeze of the juice, and they’re caught in the cheesecloth. Gone, though some slip through. Maybe they’re even tasty.

And finally, there’s death.

Some characters and side tales, while delightful and filled with color, simply. Must. DIE.

Gone. Tossed into the bin of irrelevant threads, where those story arcs we love must find their way. “Kill your darlings,” King says, and they are sweet. We adore them, fascinated by their stories as if watching a street busker juggle chainsaws. We’re sucked in, then lose our way. Probably a fiver, too.

They, too, get caught in the cheesecloth.

So there we have it, writing fans! A few thoughts on revisions, and how to get juicer juice from the pineapple juice. (I meant to do that)

Cheers, and until next time,

Fair Winds and Following Seas, my lovely reader, wherever your horizons beckon…

-Stephen R. Gann

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