Wednesday Writing . . . and it's about time.


I know I've talked here before about writing what was perhaps the worst romance novel ever written when I was in my early twenties.  We were living on about $6,000 per year at the time and my head was turned by  the astronomical sums ($22,000!!! a fortune to my 1982 brain!!) I heard people were being paid for such trash, so I decided to give it a try.

Fortunately for us all, as soon as I was finished but before I could submit it for consideration, someone made the movie Witness, which was pretty much the same story only done so much better that my manuscript was suddenly rendered useless. Well, MORE useless, if we're honest.

Anyway, I learned from the experience that writing even a bad  book is harder than one might think, and worth much MORE than $22,000 . . . and that my professors were absolutely right and you should write about what you know.  (Which, if you're from Utah, is probably not the Amish.)

I've always known what the book I probably SHOULD write would be about, but I've only had vague notions about actually writing it until recently. Then suddenly a month or two ago the idea gelled, after being stirred on my burner for approximately 25 years, and now I've  begun.

The reason I'm telling you about it is that I'm amazed at 
how difficult it is to organize my writing materials.  

Much harder than my sewing materials:

Fibers are so easily sorted by simple classifications like color

The computer keyboard organizes itself, of course, 
but the lifetime of stories and experiences are more unruly. 

The stuff I'm working with looks just like that squirrel's nest in the middle

I wish I'd sorted things more carefully as they occurred.  

I wish I'd known at the time what would be  important, and what was actually forgettable, taking copious notes during the episodes that advanced the plot or contributed to character development in vital ways. But I fear I've somehow kept the wrong details and let the important ones slip away unrecorded.

Oh well -- the beauty of having already penned the worst book ever written is that there's nowhere to go but up.  And I'm pretty sure no one is going to make a movie of this book before I get it published.  Or even after, for that matter.

And if you've been around me for a long time and fear you may recognize yourself somewhere in the manuscript, let me offer this disclaimer now:  

Any similarity of characters to persons 
living or dead is purely intentional.  

But don't worry -- I didn't keep very good notes.  
(So it's gonna be mostly fiction, and I'll try to make us look good.)



Amelia Poll said...

Oooh! I'm intrigued and so excited!! I can't wait to read what you're writing :)

I woke up this morning with a strong desire to write something. I have found since being out of school that I kind of miss writing. In my last two years I had more than one teacher tell me that I had a knack for writing - maybe I should look into doing more of it. Although I don't really know how to write anything but academic style papers...hmm.

Will you be sharing any of your book as you go along, or keep it all locked up until the end?

susan m hinckley said...

One day 20+ years ago I woke up with a strong desire to paint stuff -- haven't stopped creating since. So I say heed those voices when you hear them, Amelia! My quote today was for you, I guess: "If you only do what you know you can do -- you never do very much."

Good question on the sharing as I go -- I guess we'll see how it goes. It's pretty overwhelming to me right now just trying to get it blocked out! I dove right into writing and soon realized that there has to be a whole lot of pre-writing before I can get very far. It's an adventure! (to quote my mother)

luanne said...

Writing a whole book -- such a daunting prospect! I'll be curious as to how you approach the task -- seems some authors pre-outline the entire story in great detail, while others get a general idea and then see where it takes them. And some block out writing time daily, while others grab time when inspiration strikes, or take periodic writing retreats.

And of course, I'm curious about this mysterious story. So if you need first draft readers... I promise I won't WikiLeak it!

Allie said...

Well this sounds too exciting - I'm looking forward to reading it, and catching you on your book tour! I have no doubt that this one will be published!

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