Friday, January 20, 2012

roll on

It is officially bragging time. The infancy stage of my writing career just took a step towards being a toddler as I have completed my first YA manuscript.

At 186 pages and 65,600 words, it is almost my largest writing endeavor. As far as personal records go, it is the fastest I have ever written that much and it is my longest manuscript written with the aid of character bios and chapter outline notes. Here is a picture of some of those notes.
I am saving them just in case the novel is a hit. This will allow my sons years from now to go into a pawn shop and sell them for a big chunk of change. Mental note: I better sign the pages. You might notice two different color papers. This is intentional.

The yellow pages were the first set of notes I used. These helped me to convert a two character 500 word flash fiction story into a 20 character beginning of a novel. Eventually the chapter notes became so disorganized that I transcribed the parts I liked onto the white paper on the right and continued from there. All said it is about 50 sheets of paper and span about six months of my life.

Just a quick anecdote about the ultimate conclusion of my WIP. Luckily work was slow this week and I got to finish writing at my desk This led to a problem for me yesterday, as I rounded third and headed for home. I was writing the second to last chapter and it was a tear-jerker. I was sobbing as I typed, hiding behind my monitor to avoid being seen. Then I saw a car pull up and realized I had a 10:00 am meeting. As the front door opened I ducked into the men's room and applied cold paper towels to my face to bring down the redness around my eyes. It was an emotionally draining meeting as I had to leave my characters in their sorrow for an hour and a half before I could return.

Alright, the first draft is done. Now it is time for serious editing work to begin, but first, recognition for two blessings God provided me. The first is my superlative wife, Paige Soule. She is incredibly intelligent in literary matters and is perhaps the most supportive and encouraging person in my life. To her credit she pulls no punches when it comes to critiquing my writing. She also reminds me at regular intervals that long before I ever considered writing a children's book manuscript, she beat me to the punch and wrote her own.

The second is her sister, my hip-cool-sister-in-law, Christa who is a very talented author in her own right. I say author because unlike me, she has all the trappings of author-hood including an agent. Paige and I would not know half of what we do about the world of book writing and publishing without having watched all she has gone through.

I have a feeling as my wife Paige is reading this blog she is yelling, "What the fu** are you doing writing a blog?!? Start working on the revisions!" I have little experience with how other editors speak to writers, but mine tends to have a little bit of a potty mouth. That's probably due to the fact that she is also managing my writing career and to date has done some wonderful things. If there is any justice in this world she will end up as a professional editor as I think she is brilliant.

Consider the fact that I am a writer who is not only sleeping with his manager but editor as well, and suddenly my life is very exciting. The editor I am being intimate with is a little more compassionate in the bedroom as she knows what I am capable of with a little guidance. On the other hand, the manager can be a bit of a bear in the bedroom as with her, it's all about deadline and opportunity.

With that being said, let's all raise a glass to my Editor and Manager who are working diligently on a deadline. Amazon's new author contest is ready to start accepting entries and those in the know think it is a perfect fit for what I just completed. I will be busy so don't expect a new blog post for a while.

I'll see you in February after I turn 45.