Wednesday, September 29, 2004

In the beginning...

... was the blog and the blog was good.

It seems an arrogant thing, to presume to post my thoughts and feelings in this public forum. But then it’s not really public, is it? People will have to seek me out and, being that I’m not much of a salesman, I doubt that many will find their way here.

Unless, that is, my book is a hit. At this point I can’t even imagine such a thing. I hope that someday I call this up and smile at the memory. But for now, being called an author is only something that I aspire to. It is a dream that is all consuming to me. Since I first had the idea of my book last December, I have done little else with my spare time.

My idea began with the line from Macbeth: “By the pricking of my thumb, something wicked this way comes.” (By the way, if you haven’t read “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury, do yourself a favor and find a copy.) My thought was to build a story for the character, the Second Witch, who says this. And so I did. I spent a couple of months at the library researching Scotland of the period and reading Holinshed. That was completely fascinating and I still pick up H just for reading enjoyment. Those histories are just packed with fascinating stories. If the day comes that I can make a living writing novels, I will turn to this source when I’m looking for new ideas.

Anyway, I began writing in earnest in late February or March 2004. I frantically wrote the whole thing, beginning to end. I finished sometime in May, I think. During this first writing, I refused to let myself think about anything but the story. If a question of grammar or fact came up, I simply changed the text to red and made a note to myself to look it up later.

So, I got the story down. Then the rewrite began and that has proven to be the hardest and most time consuming part. To begin with, I decided that the first chapters moved rather slowly. It seems that’s a common thing. I read advice from a published author that said when you get done with your novel, whatever is happening with it, dump the first chapter. I dumped the first ten or so. This created huge holes in the character’s story that I’ve used to provided a sense of tension. She doesn’t know what’s come before but knowledge of her past is slowly revealed. This is the tension that leads to the climax of the book. Given all of that, the second draft became more than just a rewrite, it became a re-creation. I’m still in the midst of that stage but when I emerge, I will emerge with the completed book as I am not moving to the next chapters until I am satisfied with the current one. I’m working on Chapter 22 now and expect around 30.

Next, I have to find an agent and get it published. Not something I’m looking forward to. Honestly, what I most want to do is to get started on the next book. I have a few ideas clunking about in my head that I want to explore.

All the while I keep my full time job. I work for Spartech Plastics. My title is Credit Manager – Western region. My function is whipping boy for the accounting and sales department. There’s little of interest here so I won’t spend much time on the bills paying aspect of my life.

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