Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Process - Writing Dan Mead.

I recently printed out half my Manuscript of Dan Mead. After the swell of pride filled my chest I found myself laughing. Half of my manuscript, printed and bound, was at minimum eight times as thick as my wallet. I believe I’ve found the token imagery that symbolizes an Author’s entry into the world of literature.
Now, I’m a little different from other writers in that I enjoy editing nearly as much as I do writing. Needless to say this leg of my writing is an anticipated enjoyment, kind of like a desert. What I did not expect, in the least, was that I would enjoy reading my novel as much as I like writing and editing.
Now, I understand that you typically should enjoy your own writing, and generally speaking I always enjoy it on some level. However, this is entirely different. Whereas before, when I’ve reviewed my work I’ve been unable to remove my critical eye, and now, well now I’m lost in the story.
I find myself curious about what’s going to happen next, even itching to grab at the next page. You see, I’m blessed with a terrible memory. I believe, in some whimsical respect, that Sir Walter Conan Doyle’s idea of the mind is somewhat appropriate; just as a living room can hold only so much furniture, so can a mind – I choose not to furnish my imagination with words I’ve already written; you can understand why I am able to be fully captivated by a good story, mine or otherwise.
Now, I’m a realist, an egoist, a pessimistic optimist, a cynic and a critic. You combine those characteristic, throw in a dream of being a published “Novelist” and you’ll find some angst and aggravation. As it turns out, that was the next emotion I felt.
As I laid my book down, near delirious with joy, I couldn’t stop myself from wondering a rather vain thought. “Why isn’t this published! HOW AM I THE ONLY ONE READING THIS?”
As self-indulgent as it may be, it is honest, and in my mind, a good thing. I like my writing, I love my story, and I thoroughly enjoy my particular style. So, the question stands. How do I show an agent my BOOK instead of a QUERY LETTTER?
For those of you that don’t write a Query Letter is what you send to agents and publishers to gain representation. Generally, a typical Query Letter is less than a page – mine are four to five paragraphs. That equates to 1 Paragraph of general introduction and flattery, 1 Paragraph summarizing the reason you decided to write your book, 1 Paragraph describing your book, it’s plot line, it’s niche, comparative novels that prove the premise marketable, and of course a single sentence that tells the agent/publisher the single solitary reason why you aren’t just another chump pushing for publishing bucks, and finally, 1 Paragraph of polite thanks – and of course more flattery.
Want some perspective. Get a twitter account. You are allotted 140 word posts, in that margin, try to describe your day as interestingly as possible, try to describe it so that anyone that reads it thinks you are most likely the most interesting person on the face of this planet – or even your state, hell even your city.
So you can imagine the frustration; one moment you’re full of joy, the next, worried and confused.
At any rate, I wanted to share this with you. Be it tangent, diatribe, what have you, I felt I should share a little bit of my experience while creating what I believe to be a fantastic literary work of art, my novel, DAN MEAD.