Friday, July 12, 2019

Overcoming TSTL by Amy R. Anguish

Amy R. Anguish
Have you received a great piece of advice during your writing journey? Author Amy Anquish shares a bit of wisdom she was given that has stuck with her since the beginning. ~ Dawn

Overcoming TSTL

T.S.T.L.

Know what those letters stand for?

If you haven’t heard them before, you’re where I was about fifteen or so years ago. I was fresh out of college. My mentor, an author who had come and spoken to my Advanced Comp class, and then taken me under her wing after finding out I wanted to be an author, too, agreed to read my manuscript and give advice. On one of the first pages, she wrote those letters about my heroine. Out to the side, she explained them—“Too stupid to live.”

That was near the beginning of my writing journey, a path that started back in high school, but didn’t get serious until later in college. After taking a creative writing class at my university, I was sure I knew all I’d need to know about writing, could go throw some of my story ideas onto the page, and send it off for instant contracts. Of course, it didn’t quite work that way.

Not when my main character was too stupid to live. It was a tale about a woman who was an author and agreed to run off on a family vacation with this guy she’d just met who needed a girlfriend to keep his family off his back. Looking back, I agree with my mentor. In this day and age, that girl would be dead. I’m pleased to say I’ve learned a few things since then.

Now that I have two books published and several more in rough draft stages on my computer, I am better at creating characters who think a bit more before they agree to run off on trips. I don’t put them into situations where they might die more often than not—at least not if I can help it. I write romance, after all. And I definitely know enough to realize that 30,000 words is not enough for a novel.

Someday, I’m going to go back and rewrite that story. I’ll have the heroine know the guy she agrees to travel with, so that she won’t be simply ignoring stranger danger. And I’ll fine-tune a few other quirks that were pointed out by my mentor. But right now, that story stays as it is to remind me.

On the days when I get discouraged, feel like I’ll never get as many reviews as I’m hoping for, never be able to publish more than one story every other year, or never have more than a couple hundred followers, I look back at how far I’ve come.

It took six years for my first novel to go from NANOWRIMO to published novel, but it did. It took almost that long for my second. I started this journey with just a handful of followers on Facebook, just a few reviews on Amazon. But you know what? I have more now. And they’re all good. And they’re not all from friends and family.

So, whenever you run across a friend’s comment, pointing out something stupid you’ve done in your manuscript, take the advice as it’s meant. Grow from it and move on. Someday, you’ll look back on it and see how far you’ve come. And then you can appreciate it even more.



Someday, you’ll look back on your writing journey and see how far you’ve come. #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters



Faith and Hope
Faith and Hope


Two sisters. One summer. Multiple problems.

Younger sister Hope has lost her job, her car, and her boyfriend all in one day. Her well-laid plans for life have gone sideways, as has her hope in God.

Older sister Faith is finally getting her dream-come-true after years of struggles and prayers. But when her mom talks her into letting Hope move in for the summer, will the stress turn her dream into a nightmare? Is her faith in God strong enough to handle everything?

For two sisters who haven't gotten along in years, this summer together could be a disaster ... or it could lead them to a closer relationship with each other and God.



Amy R Anguish grew up a preacher's kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.

Follow her at http://abitofanguish.weebly.com or http://www.facebook.com/amyanguishauthor



7 comments:

  1. Great post, Amy, and so true. Faith and Hope looks like a great story!

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  2. Such wisdom! This journey is a continuous one of growth. That's one of the things I like about being a writer - there is always more to learn. More ways to challenge ourselves.

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    1. Sounds like everything else in life, huh, Dawn? We've got to keep growing!

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  3. Thanks, Amy! Writers have so many stories like yours, I believe. My first "serious" mss was read by a friend who does documentaries that have been on Netflix, etc. He said I needed to make the MC more "eccentric." He said he was too straight laced and didn't command the reader's appreciation. Ouch. So, I sat on that novel. It's been almost 20 years now. Then, it occurred to me about two years ago..."what if I take the person back to his middle school years, have him meet the other main character as another kid in school, and make him really eccentric. Now, that character is getting rave reviews from my critique group. And I hope to have the book done by the end of the year. It will be a series of standalones. This series could have 40-50 novels in it, if the Lord allows me that long of a life. :-) So, yes, listen to your friends. They just might have the answers to your problems.

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