Monday, January 5, 2009

Hard at It!

I've talked a bit about my second effort as a novelist. Well, I've had some feedback from The Dawg Pack. POV. Point of View issues are lurking within my text. Ouch!

Yes, it's painful to realize that old Susie can't really see her own face unless she's looking in a mirror. That's right. Something we understand by the time we're two or three. However, sometimes we forget, especially so when writing. In our mind's eye, we see Susie standing over the dead body. We see her raise her hand to stifle a scream. We see her face drain of all color and her eyes grow wide in horror, but old Susie? She can't see a thing. She's staring down at that dead body, the lifeless eyes gone dark, and the head tilted to the side with its mouth oozing the last vestiges of body fluids. Horrible isn't it?

We see her, but she can't see herself. We sometimes forget that when we're in the throes of our writing efforts. I did. Not often, but often enough to lift the eyebrows of the Big Dawg. She howled her discontent, and scratched out a quick critique. I yelped and scurried to my computer, forced once more into the act of revision. It's painful, but hey! That's the process, the long, agonizing process of creating my product: fiction.

After months of vision and revision, there's more. Once I get that agent (from these pages to God's ears), I can expect nine to eighteen months of work on the agent's part in order to find a publisher. Then, depending on how rapidly my editor works, there's another four to six months of edits on demand. In this world of instant gratification, you won't find it as a writer.

Writing is exhausting work with little reward for most of what an author produces. As I write these words, even I am asking myself why? Why do I continue to put words on the page? The truth? It's my calling. Some people are born teachers. Some born to work with their hands, to build and design. I was born to write. I feel it in my blood. It takes that--the ultimate desire--to become what you're born to become. I am becoming through all my revisions, all my yelps and whines.

My advice to you? BECOME. Everything in life is a process from brushing your teeth to finding a job to chosing a mate. Process is always difficult, always exhausting, but to be what you're meant to be is what life's really all about. Nothing more. Nothing less. Become, my friends. Become.

1 comment:

. said...

Too true, Willie. POV is an issue, and one that can cause an agent or an editor to take a pass. Remember -- our manuscripts have to be sparkling to least until we're a "name" author.

As for the proces...oy, the process. LOL. This, as you've so rightly put, is a hurry up and wait business. Your wait time may vary. But that there will BE a wait time (unless you've had an affair with the President AND have color photographs and recordings to prove it) is a given.

My answer to all of it? Every setback, every delay, every rejection? Write another book.

But the silver lining? If you write a good enough book, an agent and then an editor will indeed want to represent it. And you don't need every agent or every editor to love your book. You just need one of each.