Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter of My Discontent

It's snowing, just a skiff, but snow nonetheless. I do my best work in winter. Before I started writing in earnest, I never considered myself to be seasonal. Now, I know I am. As I reread my work, I've discovered that summer, or rather, stories I set in the summer months, don't work as well as stories that include the bitter weather of winter. Why? Who knows. Maybe I've got some kind of internal descriptive clock that only ticks in high gear when it's cold.

My first novel happens during a week in July. Good guys chase bad guys. Good guys catch bad guys. Bad guys suffer justified but horrible fate. Basic stuff. The Big Dawg in the writer's group has always liked the premise. I mean who can go wrong with good triumphs over evil? Apparently, I can.

Big Dawg says that the only characters who seem real are the bad guys. The good guys? Stick figures. Two dimensional. And the reader? The reader doesn't seem to care if any of those good guys live or die. Although I accept the blame for this failed attempt, right now I'm personally blaming it on summer. The story has been trunked to rise from the dust another day, a cold day like today when the snow is covering my back deck and I'm locked in for twenty-four hours.

Although the agent who read the first novel and requested some changes is still waiting, logic dictates that he'll have to wait for a few, long months. Rather than rush a less than adequate tale to his computer screen, it's best to let it swelter in the trunk than lose overall. Another lesson in patience. Damn that patience! He's a hard lesson to learn. Necessary but hard.

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