A writer who loves fantasy, avoids reality, and who knows the value of hanging a death skull outside my door to ward off uninvited visitors.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And the author writes

One of my favorite quotes on writing, haunting though it may be (at least to me) refers to how--from an author's standpoint--books are never finished, they are merely abandoned.

Back in 2003, when I started working on my middle grade fantasy series, DAVID THORNE, I couldn't have disagreed more; I insisted I could never be that writer who abandons her work before feeling it was just the way I wanted it. I later came to truly understand the full meaning of that quote...that we as authors must learn when to walk away and move on to another story, lest we find ourselves at the end of our lives, with the knowledge that we wrote "a book", instead of many.

In the time since I first started David Thorne, I've shaken hands with a slew of new characters and written my fair share of synopsis' for their stories; stories that, in time, I'm determined to write, one way or another.

But first I wanted to focus on David Thorne, my great teacher. And in my years-long dance with the big D, Ive rewritten this book several times and edited it about a million; not to mention all the times I've thought about doing it again every time I was struck with little changes that would undoubtedly make it all the better as an opening book in the series. I mean, considering the world I created for him to discover, I couldn't very well just say, "Welcome to Elder City, David. Enjoy." No, I had to show him all the wonders this magical city had to offer; and I did. And all the while, that little author on my shoulder kept reminding me to keep my eye on the road ahead and know when it was time to walk away, if only temporarily.

Therefore, I have decided to shelve David Thorne for now. It's not dead, I assure you. It's just that I've come to realize that it's simply not the right time for it to get out. I've been rejected more than I'd like to admit (I'm not strong enough to confess such a horrid number), be it because of poorly written query letters or perhaps just bad timing with agents I've queried; apparently, you have to catch agents on a certain day and time when they happen to be in the mood for the kind of books you write...not my words, btw; I read that somewhere.

That said, this author has no ill feelings towards those agents who've turned it down (and I do mean turned "it" down, not me....it's not usually personal when agents make such decisions about authors they don't know). Part of me is glad David Thorne is taking a rest. Sure, it's a strong story, gritty, edgy, strong characters and dialogue, as well as action, mystery and humor (clearly I'm not at all biased here), but, it was my first novel (sort of my second, in reality), and it was my greatest experience in the art of learning to write and learning to breathe life into the passion that has driven me since I was a kid.

It was also my hubby who was my greatest teacher. Never have I met someone as creative and intelligent, and so freakin' good at this, it's frightening! He's always been there to catch flaws in the story, conflicts, weak points, and areas that could use some touch-ups. He IS my writing group, and I honestly can't thank him enough. I know when he reads this, he'll blush and smile...so Honey, thank you.

The point is, writing that book was a major learning experience, so I have no regrets about it not having found a home yet; and I say yet, because I intend to try and bring this book out one day. Through David Thorne, I learned more than I ever imagined possible, and if someone had told me I would feel this way after all this time, and all my hard work, and all my efforts to grab the attention of an agent (two have requested partials, btw), I never would have believed them.

But here I am. Ready to move onto something new. The new series I'm working on will be a YA paranormal trilogy about a 16 year old girl named Max. Interestingly enough, both agents who requested partials on DT suggested I try first person narrative, but seeing as I how I'm not about to start from scratch with a book I took so many years getting the way I wanted it to be, I've decided to do this new series from the POV of Max. She's a feisty, sarcastic heroine that I can't wait to bring to life.

So there it is...the latest on the writing in this author's life. I'll post a sample when I'm ready. In the meantime, to all struggling authors out there, I say, keep pushing on, for perseverance is our greatest gift, and on the back of our hard work, our personal success will be our great reward.

Peace out. Now get back to work!

1 comment:

  1. Good point that it's the work, or the query letter, or whatever, that's rejected--and never the writer personally. It's so easy for us to forget that.