Darcy and Her Writing

Darcy and her writing
Creative writing is an important element in Despicable Lies. Both Darcy and Danielle excel at it, and their individual accomplishments are consequential to their stories.

In Darcy’s case, her love for creative writing began in boarding school and continued in college at UNC. In high school at Brandywine and at Chapel Hill, she had a few short stories published in the school’s literary magazines. Her teachers often commented glowingly on her character and plot development, and they encouraged her to write longer, more complicated pieces. She was too busy having fun with Pete and then Jason to follow up. Now she had plenty of time and no man in her life, so it was the perfect opportunity for her to write.

In the summer, after she broke off her engagement to Jason Gardner, Darcy was bored and at loose ends. She read every New York Times best seller to keep herself busy, and finally decided to start writing again. Once she made up her mind, she was driven to put her words on paper. (via the computer). The more she wrote, the more she enjoyed it, and the more she wanted to continue. The subject she was tackling for her first book was close to her heart, and she knew how it would end.

Darcy continued to write whenever she could. Once she was in a relationship with Mark Donovan, she allowed him to read her manuscript. “She invited Mark to dinner almost every night, and while she labored over the stove preparing delicious meals, she let him read her book, which she had finally finished editing. He was so proud of her and thought her writing was provocative and insightful. He was enthralled with the complex storyline, and since it was partly autobiographical, it showed Darcy in a new light.” Danielle, as you will learn in the book and also in a future blog, never allowed anyone to read her work until it had been professionally proof-read and edited. She was not as secure about her writing abilities as her twin, but she shared the same passion for it.

Mark had been so impressed with Darcy’s work that he sent her manuscript to a friend at the Ortis Publishing House. A month later, she received a written proposal from them to publish her book. As a term of the contract she was required to travel to promote the book. Mark said to her. “They are more than just publishing it, Darcy. They want to fast-track and promote the hell out of it.” Twins quickly rose on the charts and to Darcy’s delight, it became a best seller. She put her flourishing real estate career on hold so she could focus on a second book. After she’d written a few chapters, she sent them to her publisher, who loved them, and assigned her another more seasoned editor. “The new editor, Marie Dacourt, had a dozen or more published authors in different genres in her charge. She concluded that Darcy’s first book had been good, maybe a fluke, but certainly a commercial success. She recommended that Darcy needed to tighten her prose and refine her style if she was to truly excel at her craft. Marie made helpful suggestions and was insightful but brutally honest. Darcy was receptive to her idea, and they established a warm relationship over the phone. Darcy looked forward to her input and collaboration.”

I have the same feelings and appreciation for my editor, Susan, who lives in New York. We communicate by phone and e mails. When she reviewed the manuscript for Despicable Lies, she first checked it for content. She made useful and constructive suggestions and pointed out some rather obvious inconsistencies. Sometimes, when I’m engrossed in the telling of the tale, I get the details mixed up. For instance, in an earlier draft, in one chapter, I described Darcy as having green eyes and in another, they were blue. Now, taped to the wall by the computer, I keep a list of my character’s physical traits and any pertinent personal things about them. Hopefully, now I will catch my mistakes before my editor does.

In Despicable Lies, Darcy is a strong, self-confident character, and she will not allow her success or failure as a commercial writer to define her. I hope the same can be said about me.

Until my next inspiration…Ciao.

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