The Story’s the Thing

At a local RWA meeting, guest speaker Dee Davis author of the recently released Set Up on SoHo, made an interesting comment on writing your first book.

“It’s important to remember that your first book is possibly the only book you’ll ever write just for yourself, without anyone else’s voice in your ear.  Readers, agents, editors—all of them provide valuable insight.  But their thoughts will change the course of your writing and so that first book is the only one that is truly and completely yours. ”

How intriguing. I thought about the beginnings of my critique group. With my story completed I put together the group and we began the chapter by chapter review and edit. I thought they just didn’t understand. If I told them why Rebeka said this or why Lord Arik did that there would be no need for the next three hundred pages. As we continued to critique and edit I realized that they were really into the story and had made it their own. I started to see Staci’s character traits and hear Margie’s voice in their edits.

So this week I re-read the first few original chapters. I did write it for me. I took all those seemingly disparate scenes in my head, the conversations in the shower and on the train (see last week’s blog), and wove them carefully, lovingly into a story. I really didn’t think about anything else. I reveled in the research, the writing, even the difficult parts, and most of all in completing it. What a terrific sense of accomplishment and what a wonderful story. However, I did listen to the group. I took their best suggestions and edited. If you know Staci and Margie you may recognize them in a scene or two. Their input enhanced the story and made it better.

After thinking about what Dee said I realize that there are many ‘firsts’ – first kiss, first love, and for me a first book. Nothing can compare to the excitement and thrill each ‘first’ brings. I look forward to the valuable insight from readers, agents, and editors and hope their input makes my story telling the best it can be. I write to tell my story. I think the thrill of writing is the first half of the process. The second half is someone reading it. I am so looking forward to moving on to the second half!

About Dee Davis ~ When not sitting at the computer writing, award-winning author Dee Davis spends her time exploring Manhattan with her husband, daughter, and Cardigan Welsh Corgi.  Visit her at


Ruth Seitelman


2 responses to “The Story’s the Thing

  1. dominiqueeastwick

    Love the quote, And she is right it is the only one you write for you.

    Great Blog.

    • Hi Dominique –
      I am glad you liked the quote. When she spoke at the meeting it stuck with me all the way home.

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