Today’s Guest Post is from Jennifer Macaire. Jennifer is an American living in Paris. She lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she worked as a model for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories. You can check out her blog Here.
I’ve been writing for a while now – I wrote my first book when I was five (it was never published – I needed to hone my craft) and I wrote all through school, and then when I was a model and traveling, I used to write poems and short stories. I wrote songs, and I wrote articles for magazines, so I suppose it was just a natural leap from short stories to novels.
People like to ask what it takes to be a writer, and the first thing that springs to mind is ‘self-doubt’. I struggle with plot, with dialogue, with spelling, pacing… everything from outlining the tale to choosing a title – nothing is easy, it’s all hard, but I love it. Writers doubt about everything, but sometimes it’s important to see what strengths you have as well. So, without further ado:
5 strengths I have as Writer.
It’s not easy being objective about your own writing. If you really know me, you’ll know I’m horribly critical of my own writing, I love to tear it apart, I will agonize over it, and I have many more weaknesses than strengths. (Especially spelling, I’m dyslexic, my best friend is my spell-checker!) But I’ll try to list what I consider 5 strengths in my writing:
- My vocabulary. I hardly ever need to search for the right word to describe something. I think this comes from having, as a toddler, an old encyclopedia that I carried around with me. I literally cut my teeth on words. I love vocabulary games, and I was one of those geeks in school who loved vocabulary tests.
- Dialogue. I have a terrible ear for music but a good ear for dialogue, and for what sounds authentic. I’ve never had an editor tell me to redo or rework part of my dialogue. The characters speak in their own voices – I hear them – and write down what they say. Proof of insanity, but a certain strength when it comes to writing.
- Imagination. I think, “What if…” and a whole new hole opens up to me. A myriad of paths fan out from a single idea, and I can make horses travel through space, a meteorite wipe out only the adults on earth, or a woman can time travel back to interview Alexander the Great and get kidnapped by him.
- I’m a nitpicker. I will write and rewrite and re-rewrite in order to get it perfect. I’m not afraid to take a book apart and put it back together. I’m not afraid of trimming text, pruning prose, or getting rid of useless information or killing off useless characters. I’m ruthless when it comes to editing – subscribing to the ‘slash and burn’ method. I’m a careful writer, and I try to turn in as clean a copy as possible.
- I love to do research and I love to read. Science, history, space, crime, sports, religion…anything is fair game to be included in my books, and I love to research. Recently I researched the FBI. I spent over a year researching Alexander the Great before I started writing. When I wrote Angels on Crusade, I researched the Middle Ages. I contact people over the internet, I go to public libraries, and I read, read, read….I think reading is a strength when it comes to writing.
Jennifer Macaire is the author of the Time For Alexander Series.
Find out more about the series and what I thought about the books Here.