Missy Tippens, here. One of the books I enjoyed reading to my children when they were little was Be Brave Baby Rabbit by Fran Manushkin. In that story, the mother repeatedly tells her young bunny child to be brave. And 20 years later, I still think of that book anytime I’m telling myself to be brave and take a risk. :) I also (much to my kids’ dismay) still sometimes tell them, “Be brave, baby rabbit.”
Uh, yeah, try that one on a 21-year-old or a teenager (when they already think I’m the dorkiest thing alive).
But it’s a message we as writers need to give ourselves.
I’ve been working on a story I sold to Love Inspired in February (Woo hoo! Its new title is Georgia Sweethearts and it’ll be out in the spring of 2013!). This past Thursday, I came to a decision point about a subplot.
The actual subplot came about by (gasp!) flying into the mist (yes, I had a rare pantser moment!). And I was so excited about it.
But that night as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I worried that it would be tough to deal with the situation I’d set up. I came up with an easier-to-handle, easier-to-write situation that I could replace it with. In the dark of night, I made the decision to take the simpler route.
Sometimes it takes energy and determination to write with deeper emotion. And it may even seem to take more than we have at the moment. But it's always worth it. I promise it's worth the effort.
So now I have this really cool subplot that I think will tie in nicely with my moral premise. As my characters help this teen kid figure out how to take a risk and be responsible, they’ll be learning, themselves, how to take a risk on love.
Isn’t writing fun?!
Some tips I’ve come up with for helping you push yourself:
--Don’t take the easy way out. But don’t get convoluted with your plot either. Often simpler is better. Just don’t be chicken.
--Don’t be lazy. This is so tempting if you’re tired or stressed. So put your best effort forward every time you go to the keyboard.
--On the other hand, don’t be a perfectionist either. You need to get that draft on paper. But don’t avoid tough scenes.
--Use positive self-talk. Don’t tell yourself this is an impossible scene. No, tell yourself that this will end up being a great scene with lots of emotional punch!
--Don’t give in to fears that hit you in the middle of the night!
--Don’t worry too much what readers might think (or complain about). Trust your editor to make those decisions.
--Remember that making the situation difficult for your main characters is a GOOD thing. So don’t shy away from ideas that come to you. Torturing them makes for great reading. :)
I’ll leave you with a new mantra:
Be brave, baby rabbit.
(Now you have my irritating voice in your head, bugging you! You’re welcome.) :)
So…care to share a situation you’re facing now where you need to take a leap of faith and be brave in your writing? Where you need to push yourself?
I’ll be giving away a copy of my most recent Love Inspired, A House Full of Hope, to one commenter today. To be in the drawing, be sure to let me know you’d like to be entered!
Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com for more info on her books.
Before becoming a Christian, Mark Ryker ran with a bad crowd and broke hearts. Including his father's. Now a successful businessman, Mark has come home to Corinthia, Georgia, to make amends. But no one will forgive him. So when the widowed mother of four renting his dad's run-down house needs help fixing up the place, Mark gets to work. Pretty Hannah Hughes and her sweet kids have him longing to be part of the clan, but Hannah isn't ready to let go of the past. Still, they are working together on a house full of hope—and that's all Mark needs.