Tuesday, March 17, 2009

everyone always gets it wrong

I hate it when kids make statements beginning with the words everyone or contain the terms always and never.

Because no one is always right about what everyone always does.

So, I had a few days of angst and panic this past weekend, during which time I couldn't sleep very well. I know... I obsess about things too much.

I always obsess.

But this was not about the MAN CARD incident... and, I still have to tell you about the process by which that essential male possession may be reclaimed. But not yet. I have a little venting to do (again).

I always vent.

I'm feeling like I need to kick my own ass.

Again, we go back to these oh-Drew-you-are-not-allowed-to-write-sentences-with-106-words-in-them proclamations that so many writers embrace.

Although I am not in any particular writers' group, I do help out a few writer acquaintances here and there (besides those really really good writers who read my stuff, if nothing else, to convince themselves of the validity of the no-106-word-sentence maxim); and I find that they are so adherent to formula that they can't effectively free their constrained faculties when it comes to doing the basics -- like writing a query letter, or determining the length of a chapter, tagging quotes, or when to show a section break.

[Good God! That preceding sentence contains 92 words...]

So... what happened was that my agent asked me to write a synopsis of in the path of falling objects for film rights purposes.

[ASIDE] This book WILL be a movie. I'll bet my house on it.

But I'm, like, WTF? I don't know how to write a synopsis for that purpose.





That, and, as previously stated, I need to kick my own ass.

The problem was that I had a hard time getting in touch with my agent (Weekends off? Are you kidding me?). So, I asked a whole bunch of other people that I know, including authors, editors, agents, and even a screenwriter.

Guess what?

Everyone had a different formula. And all the suggestions were good. I finally hammered one out, and it was remarkably similar in structure to what my agent ended up telling me to do.

The point is, that in writing, I've noticed that there are more unsuccessful people who keep telling each other "That's not how you do it," than there are successful people who admit "That's not how I did it, but what do I know?"

Just my observation about the formula-watchers.