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Monday, May 11, 2009

Attacking My White Whale…Once More With Feelin'

I think every author has a book tucked under a shelf (or these days, tucked in their hard drive). A book they wrote a while ago—maybe their first novel, maybe their first dip outside their genre, or maybe some unfinished manuscript that lost its plot. It’s our white whale. The book that despite the thick layer of dust on top, still nags at the back of our heads. We must conquer it. Get the torpedo!

My white whale is my first novel—the novel that actually landed me my agent. I love it. She loves it. But frankly, every editor in Manhattan did not love it so much.

So every once in awhile, I go back and take a peek.

Once I added an entirely new family and back story to the main character—equipped a single dad and dead mom (ah, tragic). Once I changed the climax. Once I added in more current technology references. Once I changed all my characters names. The edits go on and on and on.

Currently, I’m changing the voice—making it sound more funny and snarky, rather than sad and lonely. I like it better now. It’s lighter with just a touch of girl-power.

But you may be thinking: it’s been five years woman, get over it! Stop plucking away at that withering, old manuscript! Write a new one already!

Trust me, I have. But there’s still a little piece of my brain that refuses to give up on Libro Numero Uno. The story is good. The characters are good. And based on my recent school visits, the themes are still relatable. Maybe even more so.

And because of that, I have vowed to conquer this manuscript! Regardless of whether every editor in the greater state of New York has previously showered it with rejection letters. Just think of it this way—how often do you get that much professional feedback? And with years of distance behind me, I think I can go at it with fresh eyes and a new found perspective. At least I hope so.

Because, come on. If I don’t believe in my work, who will?

POP CULTURE RANT: Justin Timberlake on SNL

Oh, my God! Did you guys see this? Justin Timberlake has now risen to the ranks of Alec Baldwin in the SNL Guest Host Hall of Fame. He was hysterical. Like, every skit was funny and not just because of the writing, but because of him. He played on old lady, a singing breast implant, and he even revived his notorious R&B singing duo with Adam Samberg. Let’s just say, the sequel to the famous Christmas Present in a Box video is even more inappropriate; but wow, is it funny. Be forewarned, do not watch the below video if you are easily offended.


Anonymous joelle said...

I have a whole pod of whales. I am plotting a new book that my agent wants to submit as my next book (based on an idea!) if I can make it work, and this is even though I have two manuscripts that he hasn't read, another that got only a few rejections, but I'd love to see as a book, and a MG series that he said might sell if I do some work on it...How did I get so many whales? Part of me wants to work on them, but another part says, "go forward" and so I am. For now. I reserve the right to try to resuscitate my pod!

May 11, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

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