Thursday, August 24, 2006

I am back to the agent search today, assembling packages as instructed. Five pages,ten pages, fifteen, a chapter, brief biography, publishing history, synopsis brief, synopsis long, why I wrote it, what current authors do I most fit in with, what would be my target audience, where on the bookstore shelf will I be placed?

Here's a weird fact: I don't write in chapters. Never have, don't know if I can. My first training novel (which will never see the light of day, it is so atrocious), I wrote, re-wrote, then chopped it up in to chapters. My currently being pimped out project is in three pieces: prologue, part one and part two.

I am incapable of chapters. They stifle me, they stifle the flow, the narrative, they make me feel as if I am writing in connect the dots format. Several people I know say they can't NOT write without chapters to give them some boundaries, to keep them from wandering aimlessly.

I've been to several writing conferences where I see the frustration of aspiring writers. They want answers, facts, formulas. One lady asked how many metaphors she should use per chapter. (This is why I could never teach because I would have told her a minimum of ten per chapter with all metaphors within the novel adding up to one great metaphor by the end.)

I don't think you can teach how to write. You can help sharpen skills, point out errors, but I think there has to be some innate gift or talent there to begin with.

My son is a musician. He began when he was about four, playing Christmas carols by ear on a cheap child's keyboard. He'd never been taught about music. He just figured it out. Later, he had lessons through being in middle and high school bands, but mostly he just "knew" how to make the guitar or the bass make the sounds he heard in his head. His original stuff is awesome (and I don't say that as a mom, this has been confirmed by outside sources).

My brother loves music. He bought a guitar as an adult and practiced diligently for years and became a very good player. But he plays by rote, he plays by chord-chord-chord-strum. It sounds right, but there is some element missing.

That missing element is the unknown. In all art, whether visual, music, writing, there is that something that if you don't have it, you can't get it.

Or maybe I'm just rationalizing because I have a deep seated inferiority complex about not having been formally educated in Literature. Nope, no English Lit graduate here, no MFA. Just trying to convince myself that it doesn't matter.

Or maybe I'm sitting here spinning bullshit so I don't have to get to work on these packages.

Most likely.

Loki sez: I know I'm fat, but can you do this?

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