Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Having My Baby
Writing a book is a lot like having a baby. With the baby, you've got the moment of conception (hopefully it was 'fifty shades' of mind-blowing, blinding, deafening ecstasy) and then nine months of waiting for the big pay-off: a healthy, gorgeous baby boy or girl that will bring you a lifetime of joy (we'll forget about the teen years for the purposes of this blog post).
It's very much like that with writing a book. Conception begins in your head when a character's voice begins to speak to you and that voice won't hush until you acknowledge it. So you sit down in front of a blank computer screen and you let that voice speak to you through your fingers onto the screen. And over time the words take shape and a story forms and sub-plots develop and your main character introduces you to other characters and things happen to them (good and bad) and then one day, you've got say...450 pages (and in my case, an unfinished story which means you're gonna have to write a sequel...which, after another 400 pages still isn't finished so now you've got a trilogy --holy cow!!!!!!!! TRIPLETS!).
Now you're looking at your baby and wondering...what now? So you send out 75 queries (birth announcements) and hope someone will want to read your baby. And then the rejections slowly trickle in. Now if this were a real human baby being ignored, the mama bear would be popping some serious caps in some arses, but since this a manuscript we're talking about, we just have to suck up and deal. So your underwear drawer starts to fill up with rejections and you try really hard not to take it personally. You tell yourself, well, Harry Potter got rejected over and over again and so did the Twilight series and Tracey Garvis Graves' stunning "On the Island," so you tell yourself...hang in there...success is coming. And the time passes and you start doubting your parenting/writing skills. Because giving birth to the manuscript wasn't enough--now you have to wait until a publisher or literary agent grabs your hook (the hook is the first paragraph of a query letter. it is followed by the synopsis paragraph and concludes with the author bio paragraph). So you wait and wait and sometimes you have contractions (not to be confused with a contract which is every writer's goal), i.e., a publisher telling you (TWICE) how much they loved your baby (book) but for some reason not committing to it. And so you wait some more.
So while you wait, you think maybe I can make my book better. So you hire a professional editing service to overhaul your baby and then you wait three more weeks for the results (that's where I'm at now). And on the eve of the delivery of your baby you receive a message that someone BIG wants to meet your baby. So now you're fifty shades of freaking...waiting to get your baby back from the spa and hoping he/she looks awesome so you can send it to the BIG people. Yeah, I'm a nervous mother today...stay tuned...