04 February 2010

what a difference *almost* a decade makes...

it seems that i'm *finally* getting some familial support for this whole book-writing thing i'm doing.

my parents are thrilled that i'm pursuing an agent. my dad hasn't read a single word of my manuscript, and my mom hasn't read anything in a while, but they have faith in me because i'm their little girl and because this is my dream.

my sister told me that she's proud of me (years earlier, she told me i'd be living in a box if i pursued this) and nearly gave me a heart attack. tonight she told me that she's excited for me.

i know that the failure rate is about 99.9%. but i've never been good at doing things that are easy. i'm one of those silly people who realized that life is too short not to do what you love, and what i love is writing, hands down. so rather than work a job i hate in order to make money, i'm working a job i love that pays me nothing but allows me a LOT of writing/planning/reading/plotting time. if not for my current job, i still wouldn't be finished with my manuscript, let alone working on "final" edits (though no edit is truly "final" right?) and writing query letters.

i hatched the original concept for my manuscript when i was sixteen. i fell in love with the island of dr. moreau by wells and was so intrigued by the idea of it, but i wondered what it'd be like from the POV of an experiment. obviously, they had similar sensibilities as their human masters and they had their own hierarchies. but then the idea burst into my brain after a few days of mulling it over. dima was born, painstakingly. the skeleton outline formed in my brain. and then 4 years later, i actually got it right. a few times in that 4 years, i wanted to scrap the entire thing and focus on something else. a lot of ideas were swimming around in my brain, but dima was always at the front of that. i'd written about 1/3 of the book before i realized that i was totally wrong. and then another few rewrites showed me who my antagonist truly was. now, eight years later, i'm finally giving it the attention and love it deserves and actually feeling confident enough to show it to agents.

but don't get me wrong. while it's been a labor of love (and insanity), it's not my baby. it's one of many worlds in my head that i've tried to give life to, but i'm not in love with my words. i'm still cutting and adding and cutting some more, trying to view them as objectively as possible, wondering if i can make parts clearer, or deeper, or more concise. my AP english teacher taught me not to love my words (in fact, she made me despise words that year) but to nurture them and make them meaningful and contextual. she forced me to dig as deeply in myself as i could and come up with something better. always better. and honestly, i credit her with getting me to this point. without her tormenting me and bringing me to tears with nearly every friggin' paper, until i developed a thick enough skin and the skill set to avoid being ripped apart, i wouldn't have written what i've written, and i wouldn't know that i could do better. so yes. because of her, i've dug as deeply into myself as i could to bring out this labor of love and polish it into something meaningful (to me, at least) and give it depth. and now i feel as confident as i did when i handed something in to her that i knew would bring back an A. THAT is how i know i'm ready.

and as soon as i land an agent, i'm telling her.

4 comments:

Lindsey Himmler said...

GOOD LUCK!

Sounds like an interesting premise to be sure!

lexcade said...

thanks :)

christicorbett said...

Just found your blog today and I'm really liking it.

I love when family and friends finally get on board with your writing dreams.

Revisions...you have my sympathy. I think those are the worst part of writing.

Christi
http://christicorbett.wordpress.com

Lisa and Laura said...

Good luck!!! You've got a great concept and it's great that your family supports you!

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