Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Now What?

Okay, so, I’ve completed another draft on the Great Depression novel. It was a small one; just some minor suggestions that my sister gave me. This is quite possibly the longest thing I have ever written. Maybe too long… not quite sure about that. It’s not ready for an agent to look at. This WIP needs a few more drafts, at least. Polishing, mostly. Of course I’m at a loss as to what to do with it now. Fleshing out, character development, back stories, historical facts- that is never my problem. It’s cutting the unnecessary scenes and whatnot. I never know what is not needed.

Once upon a time, I belonged to a writer’s workshop…for senior citizens. I was an honorary senior citizen at twelve years old. It was a family affair, really. My aunt led the group and she invited me to join, then my grandmother started to attend. One time a cousin of ours visited. I think my Mom and sister sat in on one of the meetings. It was great; I learned a lot from the women and men there. Some of the stories they told inspired this novel (they were part of the Greatest Generation). Now, my sister and a friend of mine reads my various projects and they offer great critiques. For the most part I’m skittish about showing anyone my WIP’s. I worry that they’ll think I’m odd or strange or nuts for writing this or that. Or worse, they may not like it at all and like many writers, I take criticism personally.

But with the Great Depression story, I want to show my friends and family and get their feedback. Perhaps because many of them inspired this story too. They had a hand in it without knowing it. Still, it’s frightening to be so public about a project of mine, because there is always that underlying fear that the agents and/or the publishers won’t want it. Then I’ll be embarrassed for talking up this story.

Sometimes being a writer just plain sucks.

“I hate writing, I love having written.” Dorothy Parker. 

1 comment:

  1. If it does not further character development or the main or secondary plot, it is unnecessary.

    My stories tend to get way out of hand and then I trim them back -- I'm training myself to ask, as I am writing, "is this essential to the plot and/or the character?" If not, painful as it is, I leave it out. Or I put it in, knowing it may be cut later.

    Sometimes it is not that your stuff is not "good enough" for an agent, but that the agent is not ready for your stuff. Timing is everything. If you don't get a nibble, sit on it for eight months or a year, do revision, and try again -- different agents, of course. ;)