The Untitled Book
There isn’t quite enough keeping me awake at night so I decided to write a novel. I know I have said over and over again that it would be impossible for me to make up a story in my own head, but that is exactly what I am attempting to do.
Over the years, I have thought about this. I have wondered whether I could ever come up with an original story. I know that even the best fiction writers borrow from fact and let it develop from there, but I have never had an idea come to me that made me want to embark on this kind of hellish journey until a few months ago. This is that wonderful thing I just spoke of in my last blog about things happening when you least expect them. This unexpected thing turned me into a crazed woman; sleepless, unkempt, wearing pajamas around the clock, eating candy, drinking scotch, smoking cigarettes, and pounding on the keyboard. Oh, alright, none of that is true, except sleepless, but those are my goals.
Here’s what happened. I got up on a work day and turned on the morning news. I do this everyday, but on this particular day, there was a news item that captivated my attention. It was brief, but I sat on the coffee table watching this story and long after they moved on to some other tragic event that they assault your quiet morning with, I was still sitting there thinking about this particular story. I was going through all the “what ifs” in my head and before I knew it, I said to myself, this would make a great book.
So I pitched the idea to a few trusted friends who gave me the thumbs up and set out to begin writing this story. I wrote the Prologue and Chapter One before turning those over to a very smart writer friend and a very smart son, both of whom I know will tell me if it’s crap, and then I held my breath. Literally. I pressed send on the email that contained two attached documents and then I waited.
What came my way from both of them was a mix of constructive criticism and praise. The first words Jarrod typed to me online in gchat were, “I love it.” But that was followed by 91 lines between us where he pointed out what was lacking and what he thought was good. My favorite thing he said was, “Think of every obvious place your brain would take you and go in the opposite direction.” The most important question I had for both of them was whether they wanted to keep reading. Both said they wanted to keep going.
Now I will attempt to keep going. I’m overwhelmed with finding the right direction when there are so many different paths one can go. And the knowledge that even if I were able to finish this book the chance that it is good enough is slim to none. So why keep going? Because I can’t NOT keep going. Because I’m incapable of not attempting to write this story.
Sleepless with names at the moment. My young protagonist has a name, but the eight other characters that open this story are hit and miss. Think of having eight babies all at once and having to name them. Last names, too! Be patient folks, this is going to take a year or two, or three…especially if I continue to write here instead. Writing about the book is not writing the book.