Saturday, January 2, 2010

Split Desires

All right, I know I said I wouldn't get all giddy and excited this time around with the novel, but here I am doing it anyway. Because I just sent out my first query letter and feel like several things are significantly different this time around. First off, the query letter was much easier to write, not just because I've got more experience at it now, but because I wasn't trying SO hard to make the query letter marketable -- because the novel itself is marketable. I don't have to find some magic query letter hook sentence. I just wrote the query letter in the voice of the book - the query letter itself presents what it is selling, which is: an interesting idea and a protagonist with strong voice. Also, the first ten pages I'm including - much more accessable, because again, the book, in present day first person, is just so much more relatable and easy to drop into.

Another thing very different - when I finished the final draft this time, editing is a short phase. Because as I was writing it this time, I spent more time and thought on the actual text, so "editing" finally doesn't mean "completely rewriting half the book"! This feels like writerly growth.

So I will zip my lip before I let out excited positive declarations about the future of the book, but at the same time, when I'm in it, like I have been these past few weeks, all my other dreams and goals fade far into the distance. This is what I want to be doing, much more than doing academic research and chasing a Ph.D. I feel split in two with these two divergent futures potentially in front of me. When I'm in school, all I can see is the academic future. But right now, all I want is the writing one. Well, all I ever want is the writerly future, but I know there's no real choice until I get a bite on a novel--that I have to return my focus back to school and writing conference papers and establish my credentials there so I can get into a Ph.D program. But for a little while longer I'll bask in the estatic delight of living as a writer and editing the end of the book.

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