Friday, October 7, 2011

Writer's Block Meets Writer's Honesty

That chapter that haunted me last week ... it came back to haunt me again. I once again stepped back and looked at what I had written. This time I put on my reality glasses.

The chapter had bothered me since the earliest stages, back when the novel was in its skeletal stage. I rewrote the chapter several times, and finally reached a point where the writing and subject matter were acceptable. But something kept nagging at me. It felt false ... like a literary work. I don't strive for that, opting for real characters and situations. But my "real" characters were in a situation that never quite fit. That led to my seeking of different entry points into the chapter, and the resulting mess I made. I went back to my original idea because it was the best of the five I crafted.

The problem? It still missed the mark. I finally sat down and ripped apart about 15 pages of manuscript last week. I tossed preconceived notions out the window. Some of my original ideas survived. Others hit the cutting room floor. What resulted is a solid chapter. I am happy that the false feeling to the work is gone. It is just a supporting chapter, but one in which I trace the growing dynamics between a man and woman. I want that relationship to be real.

Now comes the important part: An agent has to accept my grand idea and think it is good enough to pitch to a publishing house. That means today is query day. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

  1. trying again. . . one of the coolest things i have ever gotten from an author, was from sue grafton. . . i sent some books to be signed. . . she graciously did so. . . i also asked her to share some insights on the process, since i can get a chapter started, and then i bail out. . . she said to not be afraid to trash something and start over again. . . there is no tried-and-true concept. . . i'm with you in that i can't get past that short burst of material. . . too many years of writing/editing the short stuff. . . however, you have written a book, which is amazing. . . and the fact that you're willing to tear it up shows how committed you are and i'm sure you will succeed. . .