Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Writing is like a Cat O Nine Tails

The keyboard, pen, pencil, chisel and stone are all instruments of destruction in a writers hands. There are times we weave a story, smile, think it the greatest thing since sliced bread and then POOF! A smack across the face, blood on you back and you are lying in a gutter covered in vomit while holding a bottle of Charles Shaw.
Okay, my dramatic arch is far reaching, but in many cases, a writer will be sitting at the same desk reworking that query or synopsis wondering what the hell have they have done for the past two years.
That's right. Take me for example. What have I got to show except one poorly written romance novel which may or may not be revisited one day, about five rejections for "Cleaning House" my futuristic thriller and almost 85,000 words written for my other novel in progress.

Welcome to self inflicted torture, the dungeon on the right is ready for you.

"You Will Never Publish A Word" by Nina Badzin pretty much sums up my personal fears and excitement about writing. I may never get published, but damned if I am going to stop trying. The learning process and schedule I set for myself allows me room for improvement. If I fail or regress, well I have only myself to blame.

Today was not the best writing day. I hit a rough patch with my novel and became so involved in minutiae that I wasted valuable writing time. What saved me was reading some of my dialogue out loud and seeing what sounded wooden, what sounded real and what was basically crap. I even got into doing voices and wondering why some descriptions bordered on a fourth grade reading level. How many times can a character smile, shrug, say, ask, grin or frown? Thank you Merriam-Webster thesaurus for saving my ass. Part of my writing issue is that when I was without my net book it destroyed some of my momentum, but it is coming back. If it does not I will hunt it down and drag it home, kicking and screaming.

The infamous query letter is being dissected yet again, but this time I am referencing the archives of Query Shark. I bow to her and her wisdom and live for the day I can send in a query letter to be thrashed by her. Her archives are vast and it does get overwhelming, but the wealth of knowledge is worth combing through. I did send in a query to a workshop by Bookends. A critique fro those ladies would be most welcome as well. I need a sharp eye to see past the gobbledygook and get me to focus on the core. Practice makes perfect they say so I am scribbling notes and typing like a lunatic to improve this letter. Know what is really funny? I need to do a synopsis too. Stop screaming. I did it, I just need to clean it up.

Well, the beatings must subside so I can go to bed. Oh, in case you are unaware of what a cat o nine tails is, enjoy the wikipedia entry.


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