I updated and synced my Kindle on Sunday night. It'd been a while since I synced everything, and I'd picked up a few free books I wanted to read. While I was making sure everything had downloaded, I noticed one I didn't remember getting: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It had been a Christmas gift, and I'd completely forgot about it. I put aside the writing books for the night and dove right in.
Over my Camp writing (which I won, by the way. Ambled over the 15,000 mark with about 3 hours left), I was trying to apply what I picked up from my previous reading with "said" versus other words. I found myself frequently going to adverbs to express HOW they spoke. People said things quickly, quietly, exasperated, absentmindedly. Maybe a bit too much. I tried to just stick with "said" or actions, and I spent a lot of time questioning how it sounded while I was writing it. Was I doing too much? Was what I was doing incorrect? Did I need to do it every line when only two people were talking, or if three people were talking but the conversation pattern was 1 2 1 3? Was I doing too much?
I love Neil Gaiman. More than any other author I've ever admired, he tells me that I'm on the right track. He tells me that the things I'm feeling or thinking or doing regarding my writing aren't wrong. It's in his interviews, his pep talks, his social networking, and his books. And while I read The Graveyard Book, as I tried to pay attention to the same things I was worried about in my own writing, I felt more and more comforted because the more I read, the more I saw my own style in the pages. I saw events of all the things I questioned in my own writing, and more that I hadn't. I'm feeling much more confident in my writing now, and I think I'm finally ready to reopen my first novel and finally start that editing I said will be done in...
Oh dear. This'll be an adventure.