Thursday, August 26, 2010
Three R's for Writers
READING, 'RITING AND RE-WRITING.
I love reading. It's almost, but not quite, as pleasurable as writing.. Words are my toys, my games. My lifelong relationship with words sometimes becomes adversarial. I think the words are mine, But they seem to belong to others as well. I swear they weren't cliches when I first wrote them. Anyway, I always find a surplus of words pushing me to put them on paper. But no matter how carefully I arrange them on the page they don't make it on their own.
So maybe I should just give up and READ. And, of course, CRITIQUE. My Writers' group, Writers' Bloc is a strange group of people who believe that words are, more important than deeds. These writer-gypsies keep me motivated and their critiques keep me humble. A writer needs friends who know first-hand how hopeless and debilitating and humiliating it is to write, who accept you even when you come up with pure garbage.
Our writer-teacher sets high standards but she's tolerant. Somehow we know she forgives us even when we don't make sense. This group is trying to help me with my fifth novel, EMBASSY, The Lord knows they've tried. But maybe it's time to take it out of Assisted Living, publish it online and move it into LONGTERM CARE or HOSPICE.
As for me, maybe I should become a consultant, an expert on novels that are not quite good enough to publish, that don't have that "bottom-line" promise that sells in these over-entertained times. Maybe I'm even negative enough to become an agent. I'm very good at reading far enough into a novel to discover it's not worth finishing. I've partially read dozens of published novels and decided they weren't worth my reading time.
But when I visit the bookstores I'm puzzled. Why are there so many of these mediocre novels on the shelves where my mediocre novels ought to be? PARKER