Amy Ruttan on Writing!

We have Canadian author Amy Ruttan visiting and sharing about her writing processes. Over to Amy now...


Whenever I’m asked to blog about craft, my mind immediately jumps to scrapbooking or beading and then I realize, oh yeah they mean writing craft.

I’ve been doing this since 2007, professionally that is. That’s the year my first book was published, but I’ve always written. I’ve always had stories in my head.

Still, even after six years I hardly feel like I have the right to talk about the craft of writing.

 Why, because I feel like I’m always learning.

 Always.

So I thought I’d share some of the things I learned through-out the years writing fiction.

 Number One when writing fiction in one of the most popular genres, you have to constantly learn and hone your skills.

 Read also. Read. Read. Read.

Number Two: Learn to listen. I know you don’t want to drown out your voice by having critique partners impede on it, but if you have several critique partners and Beta readers telling you something isn’t working, perhaps you have to re-evaluate your manuscript.

Read your manuscript backwards or out loud. I personally find reading it out loud works awesome! I learned this from a self-editing class “Before You Hit Send” taught by Angela James from Carina Press. In fact, this is one of the classes I highly recommend. Highly.

 If an editor sends you an R&R or a rejection with some feedback, have some chocolate or wine or whatever floats your boat and percolate the suggestions. It doesn’t mean you suck, in fact usually when an editor takes time out of their crazy, busy schedules they see some potential in you.

Number Three: Doubt weasels suck! I know it’s hard to turn off that voice “You suck!” and “Everybody hates you”. I have one thing to say to that, Boo Honky. Give those doubt weasels a kick in the pants for me.

Seriously.

Even after all these years they come and prey on me.

Number Four: Where do you want to go? Figure out what you love to write and write it. Don’t jump from submission call to submission call trying to cram your voice into something because you want to sell. I tried this spaghetti method; you’ll waste a lot of time and effort doing this.

When your voice fits, it will go from sounding like a cat stuck in a carburetor to Freddie Mercury and his dulcet tones in Bohemian Rhapsody. I know, not the best metaphor, but Freddie just happens to be one of my favorite singers.

Number Five: Never give up and never surrender. If you want it, go out and capture it. Keep writing and rewriting.

 As for some writing reference books I use, well here’s a list of the top three I use the most:

 


 


 


 

You can do it and all the best in all your writing endeavours!

 

Born and raised on the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario Amy fled the big city to settle down with the country boy of her dreams. When she’s not furiously typing away at her computer, she’s a mom to three wonderful children.

Life got in the way, and after the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a romance author.

You can find out more about Amy at her website http://www.amyruttan.com

LINKS

 






 
Amy has just become a debut author for HM&B Medical and here's her book. First read reviews of her...

Safe In His Hands

Dare she place her heart in his care?

Dr. Charlotte James will do anything to save her best friend's unborn baby—even turn to her ex-fiancé, Dr. Quinn Devlyn! Their relationship ended badly after the loss of their own little miracle, and while Charlotte trusts the hotshot neonatal surgeon's amazing ability, she doesn't trust the man who buries his emotions in work….
A career-threatening injury has left Quinn at a crossroads in his life. But, working with Charlotte again in the snowbound beauty of her isolated community practice, he realizes he's been given a second chance to prove that both the baby and Charlotte's fragile heart will be safe in his hands….

32 comments:

  1. Excellent points! Also, love "doubt weasels"--such a perfect term!

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    1. I can't remember where I first heard that term, but when I heard it I was like "That's perfect!" It's so fitting. :)

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  2. Great points Amy! Thanks for sharing.

    Love the review of your SAFE IN HIS HANDS. Sounds some cutting edge surgical technology in the story. Aiming to read it soon!

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  3. Wonderful points, thanks so much for sharing. Appreciate the encouragement too. Nice to meet you, Amy! :)

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    1. You're welcome, Karen! I had some really awesome support when I was starting to write seriously, I like to pay it forward as much as I can.

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  4. Pretty author pic. Not everyone can pull off the pixie but that style and color is very flattering on you, Amy.

    Thanks, Nas, for the interview and profile.

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    1. Thank you, Suze. I've had my pixie for years now. A couple of times it grew out, but I don't like long hair on me. Plus with three kids, it's easier! LOL

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  5. Hi Nas! Hi Amy! Great to learn more about writing and editing from Amy. Trying to find where your submission fits would make an interesting post by someone who's been there, done that.

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    1. Hi, Denise. Yes, it can be tricky trying to find where your voice fits. I thought for years it was historical. Nope. I never really thought it would be contemporary let alone Medicals, but I picked up a medical romance before the 2010 fast track and something just clicked. I really loved that line.

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  6. These are great tips. And yes, doubt does suck.

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    1. It really does and it strikes all of us! Thanks for visiting, Kelly!

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  7. Congratulations on your success, and I appreciate knowing I'm not alone in this business! Thanks to both of you for the tips and information. My husband was born in Toronto!

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    1. Writing can be very solitaire some days! Very cool about your hubby. A fellow Torontonian. ;)Thanks for stopping by, Lisa.

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  8. Some great tips from the mouth of experience. Always the best. Congratulations on a successful career and an equally successful and happy life. I just read the above comment by Lisa and my husband was born in Toronto also. Good men that Toronto produces. Ha

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    1. Another Torontonian by marriage! Nice to meet you, Manzanita! :)

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  9. Fabulous tips! I particularly like reading the book backwards when I'm doing a proofreading. Sentences that sound awkward always pop out more then.

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    1. They do, Cherie! Reading out loud and backwards are my fail proof ways to proof read. I mix it up between the two.

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  10. A lovely fresh way of presenting some really good tips. Thanks Amy!

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  11. You're welcome, Val. Thanks for visiting.

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  12. Reading is the best teacher. I agree.
    Opinions on our manuscripts are subjective. At the end of the day we need to trust our intuition and personal taste...

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    1. Yes, you have to trust your voice, but you also have to pick your battles when dealing with an editor or publisher! Thanks for stopping by, Julia.

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  13. Wishing Amy much success!

    What wonderful advice. I do find that reading is a very helpful and fun tool. I also like to read my writing aloud as I usually find errors. I appreciated being told to kick the negatives! :) Thanks!
    ~Jess

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    1. Kicking the negative can be hard, Jess! Thanks for visiting. :)

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  14. Great ideas, and I think life would be boring with nothing left to learn.

    Writing is the only craft I can handle.

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    1. Very true, S.P., I love learning! Thanks for visiting.

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  15. "Never give up, never surrender!" - Galaxy Quest

    Solid advice. I need to kick those doubts to the curb.

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    1. That's one of my favorite movies and a great saying. It's hard to do. Thanks for stopping by, Milo!

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  16. Hey, a fellow Canadian!
    Congratulations Amy, and thanks for the tips too! So *that's* what those horrible things are called - doubt weasels! Must eradicate them.

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    1. Nice to meet you, Deniz! Yes, eradicate them. :)
      Thanks for visiting.

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  17. Great post! Inspiring and timely. Those doubt weasels definitely have a way of creeping in most unexpectedly. Which is why I keep a broom of inspiration around to sweep them away. :)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Great imagery, Nutschell. Lately I'm almost inclined to bludgeon them. ;) Thanks for visiting!

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