Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Food for Thought - To Keep You Munching While I'm Away

I'm headed to the mountains of Alberta for a few days. So there won't be any posts until next week. Unavoidable - one of those "must do" annual things. I certainly don't resent the mountain scenery, the time alone with hubby, the rarefied air, BUT. . .

I'm sort of in the middle of something.

Like a deadline.

I'm sure every manuscript is different, and every writer who, head down, fingers flying works on rewrites has his/her own story - Here's a taste of mine:

I am on the crazy side of blessed to have Nicci Hubert as my editor. I don't know if it's considered proper etiquette to name one's editor outside of the acknowledgement on the book jacket, but since she and I are writing all over each others Facebook walls, I suppose it isn't much of a national secret anyway. As I was saying, I'm blessed. She has such a creative instinct and feel for authors.

So, one day she e-mails and sets up a time when we can talk on the phone. I had been thinking we would be going back and forth on e-mail over the book, changes to be made here, things to change there - that's what I thought. But, instead, we just had a phone call about the ms. Cool!

What needs a-changing? The answer is: everything and nothing. I'm actually adding about 30,000 words - which, interestingly, won't change the plot, rather they will intensify it. The additions will take what's there and ramp it all up into a more extraordinary read.

That is the benefit of having an extraordinary editor - she's sees the big picture in fresh ways and then helps you to focus sharply on the details involved.

Speaking of reading - someone asked me recently what my goal as a writer is.

It's a good question. And, I suppose, when one writes for the Christian market, as I do, one might feel compelled to answer in a spiritual way. But, as I thought about, the thing that came to mind was: My goal is to create the best reading experience possible for the reader.

That's what matters most to me as a writer. You. Your experience as you read. I picture you in my head finishing Talking to the Dead, closing the book, tossing it in air, hands over head and hollering "Yipee! That was FUN!"

Is that shallow of me? Should I not pursue loftier goals? Shouldn't my REAL goal be sharing Jesus with the world? World peace? Highlighting social injustice?

All good stuff. Great stuff. But, tell me, who will read it if it's not a wonderful reading experience? I'm not writing textbooks here. I don't expect my books to appear on high school required reading lists. People don't read novels because they HAVE to. They read them because the WANT to.

Honestly, I can't think of a higher goal than to create something people will enjoy.

So, when you are writing, remember: People first. Not your agenda, your message, your great ideas first. People first.

I bid you good writing.

1 comment:

The Koala Bear Writer said...

I agree--write a good story. That's what matters. That's what they will remember.