Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bless the Readers

I have gone about writing my novel in a piecemeal fashion. It has been the absolute worst trial-and-error-in-your-free-time approach that I would not recommend to anyone; counterproductive and at times like pouring lye on a bare patch of skin. The opposite of how to effectively compose a work of 70,000+ words. That being said, at the end of three years of work it looks like I might have produced something coherent. My readers will be the final arbiters.

For the longest time I dreaded that the book would amount to nothing more than a jumbled pile of half-baked plotlines. After some judicious editing on a draft completed in November, the book resembles its original form only superficially -like a colicky infant eschewing its clangor and performing Toscanini for royalty.

I recently embarked on the last round of edits -filling out character details, adding dialogue for clarification, creating two ancillary scenes, and rearranging the final sequence. If all goes as planned (and it never does), I'll complete work by the end of the month.

It struck me this morning that I've had a lot of help from readers. I want to take the opportunity to give a shout out to these good people who have offered invaluable encouragement and feedback: my monthly writing group (Danny, Will, Brian and Caleb), Jonathan Shaw, Doug&Anna Dalrymple, Megan Dodgson, Jen Phoenix, Anne Overstreet, Katy Shaw, Beth Haidle, Andy Bates, and Heather Guerrero, who read in its entirety an early draft and offered tremendous insight; I should also like to thank Danny Walter for the use of his PC, upon which a lot of early composition was done. Truly, I could not have carried on without the input of these wonderful people!

Now the manuscript is nearing readiness to be sent to agents and publishing houses, and I plan to be more regular in my updates... about the current novel and news about the next one. Here's hoping I've learned how to do it a little better the second time around.

6 comments:

Jonathan said...

I'm looking forward to reading it!!

wngl said...

j, these last two years getting your business degree have been an incredible undertaking for you, and there will be no better reward for your hard work than the chance to read my book -after you get back from Thailand, of course!

RollerKaty said...

I'm dying to read it!

wngl said...

Rollerkaty, I have to get you an update copy. Watch your email!

Jeffrey Overstreet said...

As you have labored for so long on this book, I give you these jubilant, inspiring, sun-shiney words from another great writer:

I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, as with a dying friend. During visiting hours, I enter its room with dread and sympathy for its many disorders. I hold its hand and hope it will get better. This tender relationship can change in a twinkling. If you skip a visit or two, a work in progress will turn on you.

- Annie Dillard, from The Writing Life

wngl said...

Jeffrey, thank you for your sunshine and jubilance. I have so much enjoyed your books and eagerly awaiting the sequel to Auralia's Colors!