Treemakers first chapter! CHECK IT OUT!
In December I’ll be doing a podcast about Gods of Anthem, writing and other chatter. Stephen Campbell of The Author Biz is handling the interview and it’s gonna be awesome!
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Edits are getting crazy. I’ve gone one round with my fabby-fab-fab editor Kim Grenfell for Gods of Anthem and it’s a ton of work.
We’re in a hotel until household goods arrive (never). And I’m trying to find a house on an island with a gazillion people, fitting, since editing feels the same at times.
People are naturally selfish. Wanting to get somewhere is not a crime, but coming from the southern hospitality part of our country it’s driving me up the wall to battle electric cars and Vespas in the clogged arteries of Honolulu like TO. THE. DEATH.
Rude is one thing, but this dismissive and zombie-like way of travel makes me deranged. Seriously, some drivers and pedestrians border on sociopath in their pretending-not-to-see you tactic putting the entire roadway in danger with their strange aggressive maneuvers only seen in third world countries.
But back to the edits because…writers.
SWEET COCONUTS, PEOPLE!
If you have inadequacy issues, please never write a novel and use a good editor. You start to wonder if you should call him/her to ask about putting your pants on in the morning.
“Which leg was that again? Hello? Can you hear me now!”
“What do you mean this part is confusing? I’ve rewritten it five times see: GRHRNGNGBFHBGBGBVB!!!!!!! CLEAR AS DAY!”
“I quit!” “And I’ll call you tommorow!”
The cessation of writing isn’t really possible, not completely, it creeps back in no matter so if a writer one began, a writer one will end, but most certainly some projects get left behind. I just read a blog where the guy (famous now) said he burned his third book or something.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Wahahahahahaa (tears). That’s me doing it myself.
I know. Cause I’m da queen of that. Not the literal burn, but my back up has been wiped recently of my first novel so…yeah…wahhhhh.
And what do I do when I want to just throw in the towel…then light it mentally on fire, maybe slaughter the horse it rode in on…huh…HUH?
I go back to the beginning. Remember why I began in the first place.
When the book was a baby and my first love, we’d hold hands on the beach, the story gripping me by the temporal lobe, blossoming before my mind’s eyes like a luscious man-eating flower. A total ravage of my senses, spilling secrets but leaving the mystery, never letting those legs get hairy enough to feel the stubble, she’s a size three then…tops, and wears a bikini.
But now, the honeymoon is long since over. With the help of my editor, I see her warts now, smell her bathroom breaks, and she’s got a pot belly hanging out after smearing cheetos on my side of the bed. Plus I’m fricken’ winging it on a one way about to run over the guy on a Vespa. Ticket to paradise my arse! Three almost rear-endings, five hours to get a latte (that they got wrong AGAIN), and 6500!!!!!!!!! SIX THOUUUUUUSAND FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE HUNDREEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD dollars for a purse I liked and the perfect-perfect is starting to look a bit more like yucka-yuck.
Editor says we can make her pretty again. That she’s so close.
What? ARE YOU CRAZY! (honk honk!) I’m nodding in agreement while writing the divorce demands. SCREW YOU ISLANDERS! And your salty, sandy pages!
It’s not easy. Can’t be. Too good of an end game to have a nice fluffy pathway. Books start as children, running amuck first, their content erratic and spontaneous (read muddled and nonsensical). And pressure to grow up in such a short time only forces blow outs (read writers losing their ever-loving-mindholes).
BUT, upon the rebound comes the learning (about yourself and your project), like a thief in the night to steal your ignorance.
Just like those moments on a quiet beach, waves erasing that three hour traffic with each lap, and the sun doing that perfect setting thing it does each day….
Your novel’s shaped neatly into that perfect sweet spot….
Ahhhhh, le sigh.
Stay in love with your fat little messy lady and the island she’s driving on.
Because someday she’ll be a swan floating in a paradise.
Cross my heart.
In addition to writing and teaching, one of the things I do for a living is to evaluate manuscripts for their suitability for publication. I read fiction (and non-fiction) across several genres, and write comprehensive reports on the books. I try always to guide the author towards knocking his or her project into a shape that could be credibly presented to literary agents, publishers and general readers. You know how Newman and Mittelmark introduce How Not to Write a Novel by saying, ‘We are merely telling you the things that editors are too busy rejecting your novel to tell you themselves, pointing out the mistakes they recognize instantly because they see them again and again in novels they do not buy,’ well they’re right; I am one of those editors.
However good the idea behind a novel, when the author is still learning the craft of writing – like any…
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Many of these hit home!