March 31, 2011
In my novel Syncopation, Adele Hugo writes her memoirs, and as she writes she sometimes argues with her sister. These pieces of dialog fall outside the main narrative and are indicated by italics.
All of the people who have read only the first few chapters of Syncopation comment that the dialog between the sisters is confusing and should be dropped. All of the people who have read the entire manuscript say that the dialog between the sisters is brilliant, the best part of the story.
At one point, I took the suggestion about removing the dialog and revised for many months. The story fell apart. I put it back together, but it wasn’t anywhere near as good. So, I’ve “trashed” that revision and continue to try to pitch the version with the dialog.
You see, as the memoir progress, the dialog develops and merges with the ongoing narrative. The reason for it becomes apparent.
How can I get people to want to keep reading in order to see how good that part of the story is? In particular, how can I get agents and editors to keep reading? I’ve been hesitant to explain all of this in my query letter, but should I? My query letter is getting responses, but my first few chapters do not.
March 25, 2011
But what is “it” ?
Yesterday I had a long list of things I needed to do. I was quite busy until about 4:00, when I looked at my list to cross things off and discovered I’d actually only finished one of the jobs. I had partially completed a few more, but I had yet to begin the majority of things on my list.
How do writers get things done? If you follow my blog, you’ll notice how rarely I post. How do other bloggers post so regularly? How do they have the time? I read the blogs of other writers and am just shocked at how often they post. Do they do anything else? Do they work on their novels? Do they have families? Do they exercise? clean their homes? eat?
I suppose with better time management, I could improve, but then I wonder if there isn’t some other problem at work. As Landon Parke-Laine said,
I’m trying to figure out whether the lack of progress is writer’s block, procrastination, idleness or just plain incompetence. –Jasper Fforde, Thursday Next First Among Sequels
It’s comforting to see other writers struggle with this problem too (even if they are fictional).
March 3, 2011
Thanks to all of you who voted for me in the Pitchapalooza contest. I was not a winner, but I did get a bite from a literary agent who liked my pitch. She is reading the manuscript now.
So, even losers can be winners.
Not that I’m calling myself a loser . . . .
’cause I’m not, you know . . .