I’m not the type to complain, but in this post, I thought I’d share some unique struggles authors face. Seriously, there needs to be a self-help book on this…or some kind of support system. The struggle is real, people, I’m telling you.
1. Deleting Words
Part of being an author is self-editing and that means ruthlessly deleting words that don’t belong in our manuscript. When they’re empty filler words (my favorite seems to be ‘just’), that’s one thing, but sometimes we have to delete whole paragraphs or even entire scenes. Ouch! I’m telling you, that physically aches.
2. Saying Goodbye to Characters
You think it’s hard for readers when a series ends? How about us poor authors? We created these wonderful people—granted, they only exist in our heads, but still—and then after writing three, four, five books about them, all of a sudden, we need to say goodbye. It HURTS!
For many authors, me included, writing blurbs (the short text on the back of a book) is hell. Actual hell. I’d rather write a whole book than craft a blurb.
4. Silent Characters
This is a tough one. I’ll be sitting there in my quiet apartment behind my Mac, all pumped and ready to get writing and…nothing. Absolute, total silence from the two (or three) main characters that were supposed to be talking to me. And I’ll be like: “Please? I’m trying to write your story here, guys, a little help would be appreciated.” And they’re all, “Nope. Not today. Maybe tomorrow. Or not.” Sigh.
5. Characters Talking When It’s Not Their Turn
Then we have characters who don’t understand they’re supposed to wait till it’s their turn. Take Quentin and Mac, for instance, the two characters in one of my current projects. I was working on something else entirely, when they showed up and started talking. And when that didn’t work, they converted to screaming, until I got the freaking message and started writing their story. So rude.
6. Making Characters Hurt
Honestly, this one is the toughest for me, but as authors, we need to make our characters hurt at times. We need them to experience heartbreak or loss, or physical pain, or the deep fear of losing the man they fell in love with. And at times, this is hard, because I hate hurting people. Jeez, I’m such a softie at heart, that I’ve created while writing certain scenes because I felt so frigging bad for my characters!
It seems like a minor inconvenience, but coming up with good names (first and last) for every character in a book is hard. You need a name that fits their character and personality, but it also needs to fit their love interest, it can’t be too similar to other names in the book, and you want it to be memorable, preferably, too. Oh, and it can’t be too close to an existing famous person. It’s tough.
One of my readers called me out on using the same middle name for two love interests in one of my books. Seriously, I’d called them both ‘James’ as middle name. Since she read an ARC, it was easy to change that in the final version, but it shows you how hard it is.
As you can see, it’s a hard, hard life as an author, and the struggles authors face are unique… Hell, the struggle is real! But I’m loving it, heh heh.