Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Oh, Shit moment.

Back when I was writing full time, I learned that there was a term that editors used when reading new manuscripts.

They pick up a book and start reading, and then something clunky happens, the story goes off the rails, and the editor says, "Oh, Shit."

I still haven't hit the Oh, Shit moment with Sometimes a Dragon.

The book is still holding together.

I like it.

I'm 100 pages in, with another 100 pages to go.

I think I'm going to ask Linda to read this version, because her influence is all over it. It's a love story, with a strong young adult tone. Really not my usual thing, which is probably why I like it so much.

It's very fresh, and at the same time familiar. I don't actually remember the plot details.

I really like some of the turns of phrases, the dialogue seems natural.

The first 50 pages had a completely different tone -- dark and foreboding, and then, like daylight, the next 200 pages are a love story. I wonder why I did it that way? (Linda thinks I was already writing the dark part when we met, and tried to mesh it with what she and I started doing. Possibly -- I can't imagine why I couldn't see it then. But...jettisoning 50 pages is pretty hard for any writer....)

It so very clear that the last two hundred pages are where the story starts.

I'm jazzed that I wrote this...surprised by the plot turns, impressed by the language. You know, this ain't bad!! (If I do say so myself...)

Last night, I dug out the two manuscripts from the cedar chest at the foot of my office couch.
I fortified myself with half a bottle of wine, and with great trepidation, started to read it.

I was disappointed, I think. Last night.

But I woke this morning, and it was like a lightning bolt. First, it occurred to me that each of the first six chapters were like a little short story. Then, I realized the change of tone at page 50, and the absolute certainty that the book begins with the two main characters, Tenly and Toller.

Even when references are made to events in the first six chapters, I think the reader will be able to make the leap, fill in the blanks. (I may need Jared's help in that....telling me where more needs to be explained.)

This is almost the same creative glow I get when I write, only with the added pleasure of having written it already!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rome burns and dunc keeps his head in the book.

Our #1 protector of Obama has leader other than his own mind.

What a loss to the Dem Party.