Please join me in welcoming Cecily Wolfe to A Literary Vacation today! She's sharing some insight into her journey to become a writer and I really hope you enjoy it. Be sure to continue after for more information about Cecily and her newest historical fiction novel, Throne of Grace.
A lot of people ask me how to ‘become’ a writer. The answer is pretty easy: write. Just do it, like the Nike ad says. Easier said than done, as so many things are. As a single mother with a full-time job, volunteer and church commitments, it’s all about time management. That being said – I have characters that won’t leave me alone until I get their stories down. I daydream a lot and these characters just take over, which makes the idea aspect of writing incredibly easy for me (I have enough ideas to last a lifetime) but if I don’t get to my word count for the day, I get distracted by the story in my head.
I used to write first drafts in Word, but a few years ago became aware of Scrivener, which was on special for Nanowrimo participants (I was a Nanowrimo winner for several years before just sticking to a regular, daily writing schedule year round that produces what I need). Scrivener is all about production management and ease of organization/planning. My favorite aspect is the project goals, which can be open as you work or not. I always have it open, and watch the little color bar change from red (just started towards the day’s word count goal) to yellow (getting there) to green (close and finished) – which is extremely satisfying. No matter what is happening at our house (and there is always something), I can jump onto my computer (it is desktop on a big desk in the dining room, centrally located where children and pets can grab me if anyone’s head explodes or the house is on fire) and start cranking out the words. I know the story before I even begin to write the book itself, but the characters take over and a lot of the time things don’t come out the way I plan. I let that happen. My characters know their own story. It might sound a little goofy – and people will say, hey, but you’re the writer, you can write what you want – but it won’t be the true story for those characters if I don’t let it happen. After that first draft, I convert the file from Scrivener to Word (Scrivener does this for me) and print it. I find I edit best on paper. From there I go through it word by word, and read it out loud for fluidity and errors that are hard to catch by reading. Usually I have three or four drafts before offering an ARC for prepublication review, then go through that ARC as if my life depended on it - I wouldn’t want anyone to pay for a book with any errors of any sort. As a reviewer myself, I understand that ARCs have errors and would never call those to attention in a review (recently a reviewer of my Christian historical romance, Throne of Grace, did just that, even though I explained that it was an ARC - sigh).
Bottom line – do what works for you. Word, Scrivener, legal pads (I do use these for notes, outlines, short story construction) – try and try again if you don’t get comfortable with any one method. If you love to write, it will happen, if you put in the time and effort. When you get reviews like these (for Throne of Grace, published October 25 of this year, the first of the Cliff Walk Courtships series), it is worth the effort knowing that you – and your characters – have connected with readers:
This is a wonderful story full of hope and happiness and hurt.
I couldn't help but feel connected to Arthur and Josie as they struggled with their choices. I was drawn into their world and enjoyed their story.
This is the first book I have read by this author and I'm looking forward to reading the next.
This book had the tender sweetness, old-fashioned feel, and strong faith thread that reminded me of a Grace Livingston Hill novel
A solid historical romance
Wow, what a delightful very well written Christian historical romance book.
This could also make another great Christian historical romance movie, or better yet a mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.
Publisher: Cecily Wolfe
Pub. Date: October 25th, 2016
Arthur Davenport has it all: looks, money, and a successful future planned by his parents. He knows that something is missing, but when he and Josie, his mother's maid, develop a friendship that can only be based on Christian values, he realizes that his love for her is the key to his happiness. Can he convince her that he would gladly give up his life of luxury for a life of service with her?
Newport, Rhode Island in the last decades of the nineteenth century was a stunningly beautiful and glamorous playground for the rich during the summer months, and a perfect setting for a romance between a rich young man from New York City and a local girl who works for his family. The two couldn't possibly expect to have anything in common, as he is expected to follow his father in a financial career and she is merely a maid with a mother who takes care of local children while their parents work. Arthur Davenport, spoiled and bored, unsure of his place in his family and in the eyes of God, truly meets his match in Josie Warren, who is often just a bit hard on herself for not being the perfect Christian in thought as well as deed. The two meet on the famous Cliff Walk, and neither of them can imagine where or how their instant attraction will take them as he struggles to make his parents understand that his calling is the same as hers, to help those less fortunate. He has no money of his own, and if they disinherit him out of disapproval, how can he help Josie, who has spent her life working hard to help support herself and her mother? More importantly, how can he convince her that he would gladly give up his life of luxury just to be with her?
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About the Author
Ceci Wolfe writes whatever her characters tell her to write. A Harvest of Stars is dramatic, realistic fiction about two teens dealing with abuse in a small Kentucky town. Throne of Grace is the first in a series of historical inspirational romances set in beautiful turn of the century Newport, Rhode Island. Her stories have been published in the Rubbertop Review, Pilgrimage Press, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Rose Red Review, and Persephone's Daughters.