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A novel idea

Did I mention that I’m taking a writing course this fall?

About five years ago, I quit my job to take a year off to write a book. I managed to write about 9 tenths of the thing when I got pregnant and discovered that I can’t write while barfing every two hours. Also, I was one of those lucky few who had pregnancy induced carpal tunnel. My hands were numb or painful for almost all nine months — before I even knew I was prenant.

Then, of course, I had a child and writing was… tough.

But now she starts prechool next month. For two days a week, three hours a day, I’m going to have some glorious time to myself. And I plan to finish the damned book, do a first rewrite, and find my ass an agent. Because if this stuff can make it to print, my book sure as hell can.

The thing is, I’ve never written long fiction before. Hell, I haven’t written much short fiction, either. And while I can do a great scene, while I can write good dialog, holding the whole structure of the book in my head while mucking about in the details… that’s tough. So I’m taking a course on Novel Development. It’s exactly what I’m wrestling with and it’s intended for people who have at least a good idea of what thier book will be. I’ve got (95 percent of) an actual manucript.

THis will give me deadlines and impetus to get work done. Preschool will give me time to do the work.

I’m really excited. A little scared, too. I haven’t actually read my own book in three years… what if I think it sucks? What if I think it rocks but my friends read it and say, reluctantly, “Uh, honey….”  What if I finish it, rewrite it, polish it, and then can’t get an agent? What if three years of not writing anything more complex than blog entries has dulled my ability to craft a sentence? What if motherhood has removed me so far from the place where I was when I conceived of this (twentysomething, very footloose) character that I can’t hear her voice in my head any more?

Normally I’m not beset by qualms over writing. I’m a very competent writer, with a workmanlike prose that doens’t get in the way of the story I’m trying to tell. But it’s been THREE YEARS! More, really. Writing, like any skill, requires that you keep your hand in it.

Maybe I’ll do a short story first.

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Categories: books
  1. August 30, 2008 at 5:17 am

    write.write. and write some more. join writing and critiquing groups. join your local/state writer’s association. chekc the paper for writer’s groups. checkthe universities. go to open mics. LISTEN to your work. where does it want to go? don’t fight it. you may be god, but the work had free will.
    getting an agent? time. and it may help. or not. woman i know, got an agent after the 2nd draft. fromwhen she started ntilthe book was in print: 4-1/2 YEARS of work. every week, calling, sending, revising. and this with an agent who had her work professionally edited to improveit’s readibilty
    and even when it’s in print, even when it gets excellent reviews [as my book has] realize sales may be slow. painfully so.
    but yeah. the crap that’s out there? pathetic. the dumbing of america.
    good luck.keep us posted.

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