Shattering Stereotypes of Women in the Army
FROM A CONVERSATION WITH JESSICA SCOTT ON THE REINVENT YOURSELF PODCAST
“Every narrative about the Army is negative,” says romance novelist (the Coming Home series) and former officer in the army, Jessica Scott. “It’s about PTSD. For women it’s about sexual assault. I wanted to tell stories of how fun the Army is, to tell our stories.” Scott details how she began writing romance novels because she was bored in officer-training school, wanted to change how women in the Army were portrayed, and to find a way to work out the serious emotional issues (like life and death) presented by her previous profession. She talks about learning to edit and revise from Stephen King’s On Writing and doing a “beta read” while deployed to Iraq.
Jessica’s Top Tips for Writing
- Focus on Finding Your Voice
One of the things that people tell me when they read my books that know me is “it’s so weird reading these because I can hear you talking in my head.” Voice is not something that can be taught, it’s only something that you can communicate on the page.
- Good Writing Is Revising
Learn how to revise. Get into a writer’s group and start critiquing other people’s stuff and learning how to critique because it will help you see the problems in your own work.
- Pay Attention to the Market
If you’re just writing for yourself, that’s one thing and that’s fine and that’s good. I blogged through my time in Iraq, and I turned them into books just so my kids will have the chance to read about it. But if you’re writing for publication, you have to be able to answer who your audience is and who you are writing for.