Thursday, August 17, 2006

Trapped in my Brain

Lordy. I am going to take a yoga class tonight at the gym I rarely attend anymore due to swimming because I need some serious relaxation. I mean, yoga is work, but it takes your focus out of your mind, which is where I have been ALL WEEK in such a serious way that I can literally feel my head get hot at the end of each day, and not in a headache-y kind of way.

On Monday I got the revision notes back from my agent for my novel. She is killer(as in fantastic). I told her that she is like the other half of my brain--I stop being able to see what the hell to do with a plot thread and thus tie it up in a very loose little knot. She goes in with her incisive seam ripper and says, "No honey, that is not a complete knot...what about tying it like this?" And each little untied end has provided me with endless hours of further writing--which is fun, but I sort of lose myself in the process.

What I love about my new agent is that she's not afraid to get involved, to put her hands right in the book and pose important questions and suggestions for change. I know that many writers have an ethic that their work is their work and they won't budge...but I don't believe that if you hope to have commercial success. I believe that I am the servant of an idea, and I can take that idea to a certain point, but then I need readers to help me deepen and change and transform the story so that it makes sense, and works, and is believable...and when it happens to be your agent, who will be the one making a sale for you, I think it's good to listen.

I had an agent before her. He made very vague suggestions, and I got the feeling that he was the "hands off type," the "let the genius think" type...but now I wonder if he just didn't know what to say. Not to disparage him. He was a very nice person and I really did like just didn't work out professionally between us, and he was far more into non-fiction than fiction. I was one of the casualties of that. I was naive, too, since he was my first agent.

Anyway, deepening and fleshing out the final bits of my plot requires SO MUCH of me that it has been near impossible for me to put my attention on anything else, no matter how necessary. I also had a feature article due this week, which I have a black out about completing. Somehow my fingers typed and my brain processed and I wrote 3000 words, but I tell you I don't hardly remember. And I've been working on a ghostwriting project about historical figures, which is immensely interesting, but I just feel sure that I'm somehow getting it all wrong. As my client reads this blog, I should just shut up and keep working, right V?

As for my Writer's Digest book, which I'll be expected to deliver half of in just a couple months, I am definitely making progress, but I'm going to have to do some serious triage here soon in order to make sure I stay that way. I'll have to reject new work--very hard for me to do--for a while. So feel free to make me donations in honor of my upcoming birthday :)

I guess this is boring shop talk eh? Well, you can wish my sweet husband a happy birthday. But you also have to wish my friends Marlene, Jenny and Robin one too...they all share the same day!

Bored here? I'm guest-blogging at Anne Mini's might have to scroll down to find my last post from the 15th. A new one should be going up shortly.


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