Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty good about my writing. I’m happy with how my two finished mysteries turned out. Of course, no one’s seen them but my critique partners and my editor, so I haven’t had to deal with reviews yet–and that might be part of it. I’m getting better at accepting bad reviews, though. Most writers get them. Books I really liked hit some other reader the wrong way. We all have different tastes. Anyway, at the moment, I’ve been happily hitting my keys–until–doggone!–I bought Elizabeth George’s newest mystery, THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES.
I’ve been an Elizabeth George fan since I read her first book–A GREAT DELIVERANCE. That book blew me away. Her books have gotten longer (THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES is 704 pages) and further between, so I usually have to wait at least a year or two before the next one comes out. For some reason, in my opinion, they got gloomier, too. George writes characters really well, and her writing itself is beautiful to behold. I finally reached a point, though, where I fizzled before I finished one of her books because it was so depressing. Did that stop me from buying her next book? Of course not! Thankfully, though, this new book breathes with great dialogue, characters who spring off the pages, and the occasional humor. I think it’s her best novel yet.
As always when I read George, I toyed with the idea of adding a little more weight to my writing and my characters, but I decided against it. I’ll never be an Elizabeth George. I’ll never have her gravitas, and let’s face it, I’ll never have enough patience to write 700 pages. I’ll never be like Jenna Bennett, either, with her sense of flippancy and daredevil jump-feet-first into things. And maybe that’s why I’m happier with my own writing than I used to be. I still want to improve. I still want to write my story the best I can. But I can admire and enjoy all kinds of other writers and learn from them while knowing that what makes my writing what it is, is ME.
We each bring our own voice, our own style to what we write. Whatever you’re working on, good luck. And happy writing!
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