Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just a Taste

Now that copy-editing is nearing completion, my level of excitement is skyrocketing. Because after developmental editing is done, my book will be ready to hit the shelves. Almost. After developmental editing I get to make all the fun decisions, like how the cover design will look and what I want written on the back. But after all that, it will be ready! I was telling Ben the other day that the one thing I am most excited about is actually being able to talk with people about the book instead of just telling them about it. After people have read it, I can have conversations with people, I can talk to my readers about how they related to the characters and if the message affected them in any way, and how they were affected.

My editors are working very hard to make sure that I will be able to have conversations like that. During developmental editing, my editors will be polishing my work so that the message is strong and clear. I know this already because the first response on the questionnaire I have to fill out before developmental editing even begins is this: Describe the main message/intention of your book in ten words or less. Ten words! For a writer, this is not an easy thing. I could write pages and pages about the message and intention! If you’ve been reading my blog religiously, you know how wordy I can be! I haven’t responded to this questionnaire yet, but believe me, I’ve been thinking about this response every spare minute I have. The message is the core of my work; if it is weak I lose the power to reach hearts and stir up emotion. So I want it to be as strong and as clear as it can be, so that is what I hope will happen after developmental editing. Any changes I make to the work will be so that the message is stronger and more influential.

I want to give you all a bit of a sneak peak of my book. One of my main goals, one of my deepest desires, is for people to be able to connect on a personal level with the characters. I want the emotions of the characters to be real, tangible emotions. I want people to read my book and say, “I relate to that. I’ve felt that before.” So when you read this book, you will see that a majority of the work is divided into two sections: dialogue and inner thoughts. The story is told from first person perspective, so you get a direct look into Molly’s thoughts…all her desires, fears, and every single emotion in between. I wrote it in a way that is similar to the way that we all function. For example, when we worry about things, we don’t just worry about them once, work through them, and then stop worrying about them. We keep worrying about things. We might work on those worries, yes, but oftentimes those worries keep us up at night and cause us to lose sleep. So it might seem that I write about a specific emotion over and over again, but that is because as humans, we hang onto things. Events impact us for more than just one occasion. The impact is lasting. I revisit the same worries, fears, and other emotions over and over again because as humans, we do that. We revisit things even though we may have worked through them already.
So…here ya go! A small glimpse of what I’m talking about.

It was dark. I hated driving in the dark; not being able to clearly see what lay ahead. I was limited to how far my headlights shone onto the road. That’s how my life was like right now, though. It was dark. I couldn’t see what was ahead of me because I had no plan anymore. I was just blindly wandering down a path to who knows where. Anywhere but here, though.
The weight of the past few months was crushing down on me. My shoulders felt like a gigantic boulder was strapped to them. Being in the car didn’t help either; the small space was closing in on me, suffocating me. For the first full hour of the drive I sobbed uncontrollably; loud, heaving, gut-wrenching sobs from the deepest part of my heart. I hadn’t allowed myself to cry like this before because I was always afraid someone would hear me and ask me what was wrong, and I knew I’d never be able to tell them the real reason why I was so broken and empty.

Sorry for the randomness of this little sample, but it took me forever to find a piece that didn’t give away too many details! I really wanted to give you guys a little sneak, and to show you how real Molly is to me, and how her emotions have affected me. I don’t think anyone who doesn’t write or love to read can understand just how easy it is to become a character. I didn’t just live in Molly’s world. I was Molly. I became her so that I could experience her feeling and write about them in a real way. You people have no idea how long I walked around as Molly! It was ridiculous. And then I started writing the second book, so it hasn’t really ended. She’s still a part of me, and I still walk around in her world. That’s the great thing about writing and reading though. Being able to step into a completely new world is absolutely exhilarating, and I can’t wait for you all to step into Molly’s world with me!

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