Besides my work life, I am beset with another work-life. In this new / different / ancient side of work-life I have many things to do and master.
Not the least of which is how to say something new and different. To say it like no one has said it before. These blogs…. I’m often stopped in my tracks. In my attempt to give more than mere shuffling steps on the trail, I am stopped short for much too much scrambling in the scree. I end up with gravel in my shoes. You end up with a weak metaphor about hiking.
Currently, the two main tasks on my proverbial trail map are:
- Query and Representation
- Plan and Write New, Shiny Novel
Query and representation is quite the different trail than my recent experience dictates. Nowadays, I chase and sell. I hunt. Sometimes I make very consistent contact with the client to close the deal. Good does not always come to those who wait. Sales is competition. You must work to win. Querying seems to necessarily be more of a ‘let the work do the talking’ thing. I get it. Doesn’t mean I like it.
So, I send and wait.
And check my email like a love starved teenager.
Do they like me? I research and check out those agents I send to. I’ve been around the sun too many times to consider working with dolts or crooks. I’m sure they feel the same. At some point we’ll meet at the right point in time. This might not be the book. The Book is a good book. I’m hoping it’s a great book. Everyone else will decide that.
I also have that Query Letter.
Ooooweee. Not sure about that.
Like most writing it’s mixed. Some love. Some hate. I prefer that. At least we’ve provoked a reaction. Feel something other than revulsion (unless the character deserves it…. some do).
I love to get the notes on laughter or tears. This is good.
A story must create a spell and try not to break it. Some take longer than others.
Representation will take longer.
I improve and adjust.
With The Query.
With The Book.
The second issue is The New Book. I’ve spent time planning and prescripting. It’s a combination of ideas previous. That’s pretty good. I’ve worked around the ideas for a long time.
One thing: I write a couple ways. By hand on a legal pad, especially when I’m stuck or starting, and on the computer in Scrivener. (Some wonder: I Love Scrivener – it’s really helped with my versioning and organizing on The Book. That being said, you can also use pen and paper, which I do. It’s art people, we gotta just do.).
Well, one nice thing about writing by hand is I have a physical thing telling me I’ve written a bunch that day.
Pages, heft, weight, ink. A thing.
Proof that I did a thing. It’s nice to touch that.
The other gift is the surprise. Many people talk a lot about numbers of words. I try to only use those numbers as keystones and guideposts. Lets me know I’m getting somewhere.
The words also come in waves when I finally rewrite into the machine box with perfect representation of letters rather than illegible scribble.
The Surprise: Typing in can give me 10,000 words where I felt like I had 200. Mostly workable words. Progress. That matters.
The words will be edited and reworked. Repurposed and reshaped but they are there.
The sculpting will continue.