Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Umm ... Uhh ... Would ya .. I mean do ya wanna go out sometime?

For those who have not read my blog since it inception so many long months ago, (almost 3 for those keeping track) let me refresh your memory about a few things. I've compared crafting a novel to raising children, read here. and to poker, read here. Unlike the majority of my posts I actually kind of proud of these analogies so check them out if you haven't already.

That brings me to my current post. Being a prepublished, or as Reid suggested in the comments yesterday, a prepaid writer feels just like being back in Junior High. All serious writers share the same goal -- Publication. All teenage boy share the same goal - to score their first action. Hey I 'm trying to keep this blog relatively clean, otherwise I'd have used a different less cliched description for the desires of a pre-experienced boy. (that's my new softer term for a virgin) Oh, so you didn't think virgin was a harsh word. See what happens to any teenage boy who admits to being one in the locker room after football practice.

Boys gather in groups to talk about girls and brag about what they would like to do to whom. Writers do this same thing via critique groups and online writing communities. Some even go so far as to tout experiences they've never actually had.

And trust me the first time I sat down and pitched my novel to an agent my hands were sweaty, my voice was quaky, and I rambled on in coherently about pretty much nothing.Not a bit different than what happened the first time I asked a girl out.

Over time we as hungry writers score a few victories. A contest win here, a request for a full there, maybe even a short story publication or two, but that main prize, our name on the spine of a novel still eludes us. I have a few comparisons I could use to relate the minor victories a horny teenager might encounter, but I think I'll leave them to y'alls imaginations.

Okay you pervs, quit daydreaming about days gone by and refocus on this blog.

At this point I've asked out a lot of girls . I mean agents and even a couple of editors. I have a few wink and say ooh I like the way you said that. I've won contests, had fulls requested. To be frank, I feel as confidant as a groom on his wedding night. Not only do I feel certain that my latest novel will find home but I also strongly believe that something will happen soon. All I need to hear is that other I Do.

But dang it, the ceremony is taking forever. I've had sweet nothings whispered in my ear but none have committed whole heart and now that little voice in the back of my head is whispering evil thoughts. This good, but not that good. Don't get your hopes up. Who's going to buy the idea that big, hairy bastard like you is even capable of writing women's fiction?

Okay I know most of you have gone through this and I hate to be this zealous. I want to play it cool, act nonchalant and somewhat disinterested in the same way I would with a used car salesman trying to give me the hard sell. But we aren't talking about a car and some cheesy dude with a combover. We're talking about agents that I respect and admire for the body of their work, and we're talking about my dreams.

But I'm stubborn and I love to write and create stories, so maybe in the end that is all that matters, because while I'll always strive for publication I'll never stop writing even if I never get there.


Anonymous said...

I love this analogy. So true!!

Reid said...

I like the analogy here. I feel to score, though, we'll have to be less of the sensitive guys we are, and more of the lounge lizards we detest.

I had a friend that used to say about picking up girls, "If you throw a line out enough times, eventually you'll catch something." I think he was trying to warn me about the dangers of chlamydia, but the analogy rings true.

I get turned down by an agent, I find another one and submit within 24 hours. Keep fighting the good fight, amigo.

Tena Russ said...

I've been told that it never gets better than when you're writing the book. I don't know, though, because I haven't finished writing the dammed book. I love it like a teenage kid that I'd love to see out of the house.

Thanks for your honesty.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hey Travis,

What a great analogy!

I loved writing the novel. That is the creative, all consuming part of the process. the business side of the process is, ummm, work. and that's what querying is--the business side.

It takes both sides to present a completed book to the world, so, as Reid says, we have to "(k)eep fighting the good fight."