I’ve decided to embark on a new journey. The trip involves taking all that one can find between the covers of Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus, and arranging said contents so that another might find the results entertaining, interesting, informative … this is my hope.
Writing may seem easy from the perspective of those who haven’t attempted to wrangle our language into the correct sentence structure, comma placement, or tense. It has proven otherwise. There’s a great deal to know and to learn. Reading, studying, editing, and research are necessary tasks if one hopes to become successful. These activities take time. Lots of time. Thus far, traveling along a writer’s road has been the most stressful endeavor I’ve ever attempted. It has also been the most rewarding. Others, more experienced, have been kind enough to take me under their wings. I thank you.
I’ve recently completed my first novel, “In Memory of Greed.” Fifteen months and three re-writes were required. Fifteen and three more could probably have been spent. Yet, its unlikely I would have been any more satisfied with the end result. At its inception, the “blank-pager” method of writing was employed. The story initially meandered like a drunken fool, over-imbibed on MadDog 20/20. An outline was incorporated, mid-stream, changing the book’s reckless stumbling to a more subdued stagger. Re-write number three wrestled control of the beast from conflagration to conformity.
Now, there are days when the content feels solid … others, when those pages seemingly constitute the biggest pile of drivel ever written. Thick skin, broad shoulders and endless tenacity are but a few of the attributes needed to soldier on. I’ve decided to persevere, despite the very real chance of playing a fool along the way. Humility is the by-product.
The weeks ahead will find my face buried in Strunk & White’s, “The Elements of Style,” Browne & King’s, “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,” and a book called “Essentials of English.” I need them. The tools of the trade do not come naturally … it takes more than a vivid imagination and desire, to write well.
The best writers in the world do not surround themselves with yes-men and women. Rather, they ask for the truth. I’m ready to hear it; to take my cues and learn. To read other works then write some more. And though its painful at times, one fact can not be denied; there are no short cuts. Dues must be paid. Years from now, a labor of love may have produced works that can stand on their own. Perhaps I’ll open the cover of this first novel to peruse its pages once again. At that time, I trust my growth as a writer will be significant. The end result will be no re-invention of the wheel, but it may feel like the next best thing.
P.S. For a bit of my fiction, please click #SampleSunday atop this page.