Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Biggest 'Ah-Ha!' Moments in Writing - Lisa Morton - Gaining Confidence

I think I've had two "Ah-ha!" moments that really mattered, and both involved finishing projects: My first screenplay (which was my first real piece of writing), and my first novel. With both of those projects, I began them with a great deal of trepidation: I'd written short films and (later) short stories, but could I tell a full-length story?

When I finished my first feature-length screenplay, it was a real moment of revelation (and one I experienced twenty-five years later, when I finished my first novel). Not only did I discover that I could indeed write something long, but it wasn't even that hard. After finishing the screenplay (which happened when I was twenty), I wrote a dozen more, and lucky number thirteen became my first sale (and ended up being produced and even going on to achieve minor cult status). And since finishing that first novel a few years ago (NETHERWORLD, which will be published next January by JournalStone), I've written two more: THE CASTLE OF LOS ANGELES, which won the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel; and MALEDICTION, which will be published by Evil Jester Press in October.

Finishing that first major project can give a writer a tremendous boost of confidence; even if it's a first draft and you know there'll be rewrites and polishes, you know now that you can do it.

Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, novelist and Halloween expert whose forthcoming books include the novellas SMOG and SUMMER'S END, the novels MALEDICTION and NETHERWORLD, and the trade paperback edition of TRICK OR TREAT: A HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN.

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