General

At Another Novel’s End

Happy Monday. Another week upon us. And Tomorrow is finished.

[Tomorrow The Grace. Paperback copy. Photo by me, October 14, 2019.]

Feeling with the novel’s conclusion that I am about to cross another life Rubicon, I am taking a few days to savor this interval before “the world” sees it…

[The River Great Ouse, in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, England. Photo by me, October 12, 2019.]

Okay, that’s not the literal Rubicon, of course, but I’m sure you get my point.

I want also to let off some writing steam here in what is likely to be the last pre-publication blog post. To do so, back to Twitter’s #writingcommunity:

My reaction to that? This:

[From The Great Gatsby, 1925, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.]

Now, go tell your eighth grade (thatโ€™s an age 13 student in the US) teacher to jump into the Long Island Sound.

Unless of course you are in English class right now, in which case you have to do what the teacher, uh, just said.

I don’t have to discover it. It is. I am merely the onlooker who puts into words what has happened to them all. LOL!

If you have been around a while, you know a major character in my first three novels is a Lebanese-French woman who is based largely on a real woman in my life. I am neither Lebanese, nor French, nor a woman. I fictionalized her carefully based on what I observed of her, on what she told me, and due to my other knowledge of her.

I am uncomfortable as a fiction writer just making s-it stuff up outright because any reader who knows anything about that area I am “poaching” upon certainly will see through that nonsense almost immediately.

What I try to do as a writer is to impart what I feel I do know reasonably well and stick to those subjects and those characters that I believe I can do writing justice to from within my own life โ€œzone of knowledge.โ€ LGBT is not such an area of mine. I leave the likes of that to others to write about from theirs.

It is a cliche. For writing every day is impossible and anyone who says they do is either exaggerating or lying.

Other than perhaps catching the likes of spelling mistakes, I doubt it.

Reading widely would likely be of more help to you.

Okay…

[In 2016, starting an actual LETTER. Photo by me.]

I leave that to you to decide.

No. Not unless I wanted to TEACH creative writing.

I REPEAT: You do NOT require an MFA, or MA, or MPhil, or MS, or Ph.D to write fiction and don’t let anyone con you into believing you do.

A, uh, degree of B.S. is all that is necessary. LOL! (Get it?)

I write mostly in my private home office in the early mornings. The only writing I do in a public place is on my phone or iPad, perhaps while killing time in an airport or waiting for the car to be seen to, in editing or tapping out new ideas. It appears I suspect to onlookers like I am texting or messaging.

In general, yes; but not always. Not everything should be composed for the reading level of a 5 year old.

“I love you.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

There are times rather more description and greater depth are required.

Currently, one. (My wife.)

In 2013, however, when we had my then 15 year old English niece (later the recipient of that letter I was trying to write by hand above in 2016) spending two weeks with us in America, and we were her guardians, I would have jumped in front of a bus for her.

Or when we were reclined on a Florida beach and some Danish guy in his 20s walked over to her next to me and was trying to chat her up – and I started counting to ten before I was going to become, err, “Dad”…

It depends on the definition of what “hard work” is.

Tarring a roof… now THAT, I think we can all agree, is HARD WORK.

Oh, just send in a Frenchwoman. She’ll sort it all out.

NONE OF THE ABOVE. Why? Because I NEVER NEVER NEVER “distribute” a manuscript pre-publication to anyone I don’t know personally… and very well and trust.

Oh, but it is for helpful “feedback” from other writers to improve the writing? Putting your entire dearly written draft out there over email and/or the net to be so-called “beta”-read by strangers? I’m sorry, but the idea is madness. There are intellectual property thieves all over the place (ask many a blogger who has had just even a post stolen, or someone who has had their Instagram pictures used without permission), and they can rip off portions of your book, or even most of it, and leave you heartbroken.

What you gonna do when you find out? Sue them? Good luck with that.

You would not leave the front door to your house wide open or your car unlocked and the key on the driver’s seat in plain view. But you will pass your rough draft around to those you don’t know for potentially anyone to get hold of? What the heck is wrong with you all?

On that note, have a great Monday, wherever you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

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