Melinda Woodhall

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Tammy L...
3,540 books | 62 friends

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Melinda Woodhall

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Born
The United States
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Member Since
January 2018


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Melinda Woodhall I believe in prevention over cure whenever possible, so for writer’s block that means making sure I’m keeping my life in balance and allowing plenty o…moreI believe in prevention over cure whenever possible, so for writer’s block that means making sure I’m keeping my life in balance and allowing plenty of time to focus on family and health, as well as writing. That way, when I sit down at my computer, I’m refreshed and ready to write, eager to incorporate the ideas and thoughts that have been building up in the back of my mind.
However, if I get stuck while looking at the blank screen/page, searching for the next word or sentence, I find that it’s best to just write something that moves the story forward as best I can, even if I know it isn’t going to be perfect. I get something down and move on, then circled back to edit or fix once the motivation returns.
If the block is more about the story line or plot, rather than the words or sentences, then I like to take a notebook and paper outside to brainstorm, think and jot down notes. Usually a few hours thinking through the problem will reveal a solution and motivate me to get back to work.(less)
Melinda Woodhall It’s the soul-searching question that every aspiring writer ponders, and every seasoned writer attempts to answer over and over again: what motivates …moreIt’s the soul-searching question that every aspiring writer ponders, and every seasoned writer attempts to answer over and over again: what motivates and inspires you to write (and finish) a novel? Of course, the answer differs from writer to writer, and evolves throughout a writer’s career.
I turned to writing novels after decades of telling myself I was too busy raising a family and working sixty hours a week to ever have the time. Eventually I had to admit I was letting my dream slip away. Anne Lamott’s words resonated within me when she said, “Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written…it’s gonna break your heart.”
I knew I needed to make time and space to write, but when I did manage to finagle some alone time, words and ideas didn’t flow onto the page as easily as I’d foolishly hoped. I soon began to understand that I needed time to think and plan and dream before I could write. As Joyce Carol Oates so elegantly pointed out, “Novels begin not on the page, but in meditation and daydreaming—in thinking, not writing.”
After much contemplation and musing I felt I had a solid idea for a novel – one that I would actually want to read myself – and I sat down to write the story that was starting to come to life in my head. I was determined to follow Ray Bradbury’s suggestion to, “enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, by reading your story, will catch fire, too.”
But writer’s doubt, which I’ve found to be more debilitating than writer’s block, crept in as I read over my first 95,000-word draft. I was sure that no one would want to read it. It’s a lonely feeling to have labored long and hard to produce something you are unable to share.
Franz Kafka’s insight that “writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself” seemed disturbingly true to me at that stage, but I forced myself to revise the draft and sent it to an editor for advice. It was hard to hear that my labor of love was deeply flawed (as are most first drafts), but I learned that a novel isn’t born pretty. It comes out raw and red and needs attention. You have to edit and revise (and revise and revise) to make it ready to bring out in public.
In the midst of many rewrites it was reassuring to read the wonderful John Irving admit that “half my life is an act of revision.” I suddenly felt like I was in very good company. All the fabulous writers that had inspired and thrilled me in the past had also slogged through endless edits and rewrites. The knowledge made me feel slightly (undeservedly) smug and decidedly less sorry for myself.
Once I held an author’s copy of my finished book in my hands, I relished the gratifying feeling of achievement. I had finished and nothing could take that away from me. It was the blissful moment just before I asked myself, “Okay, what should I write next?”
As for the inspiration used to write my other novels (and any novels I have the privilege to finish in the future) I rely on Isabel Allende’s admonition to “show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.”
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More books by Melinda Woodhall…

Ready to Read His Soul to Keep!

Picture So happy that the 1st book in my new Frankie Dawson, P.I. Series is ready for release on November 30th! (You can preorder His Soul to Keep now on Amazon at https://mybook.to/HisSoulToKeep.)  Read more of this blog post »
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Published on November 18, 2022 09:29
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Melinda’s Recent Updates

Melinda Woodhall wrote a new blog post

Ready to Read His Soul to Keep!

So happy that the 1st book in my new Frankie Dawson, P.I. Series is ready for release on November 30th! (You can preorder His Soul to Keep now on Ama Read more of this blog post »
Where Evil Hides by Melinda Woodhall
"Thank you to BookSirens for this ARC. I am leaving this review voluntarily. Melinda Woodhall has another winner with this one! She is a master storyteller and really knows how to weave a tangled web of deceit and twists. Bridget Bishop is the star of" Read more of this review »
" Thank you, Julie! So glad you are enjoying the series! "
Lessons in Evil by Melinda Woodhall
"The past returns to haunt you!

Ghosts, nightmares kidnappings and murdered women have Bridget questioning a past case and everything she thought she knew. She is battling self doubt, local politics and the judgment of others but her priority stays the" Read more of this review »
" Tammy wrote: "Yay! I have now read everything you have written! I am waiting on this one!"

Happy to hear it, Tammy! Thanks for reading! :-)
...more "
" Lieke wrote: "Done"

Awesome! Thanks a bunch, Lieke!
...more "
220
More of Melinda's books…
Quotes by Melinda Woodhall  (?)
Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more)

“the door”
Melinda Woodhall, Catch the Girl

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