Querying can be downright depressing for aspiring authors. I imagine most would-be storytellers give up their dreams of publishing soon after they begin. We pour our hearts into our stories, people tell us we’re such great writers, maybe even other published authors compliment our skills, and yet…publication eludes us worse than 10 yo’s to chores. It’s very easy to lose hope when you’re stuck in the trenches. I started writing The War of Ages Saga in 2008, finished the first draft in 2015, and submitted my first query letter in 2016. Why’d it take so long, you might ask? Well, this was my very first attempt at writing a fantasy novel, and I had a HUGE learning curve to trudge through. Every new discovery in the story led to a thousand more who-what-when-where-why-how’s to answer—why is there a class divide between citizen and non-citizen? What was the Great Uprising? How did
The Devil may be in the details, but the killer is in the minutia. I’ve spent countless hours, troubling over a single sentence or paragraph. Even now, a mist of sentiment grows in my mind, forming a nebula of image-laced ideas that I want to transcribe into words…but it has to be…just…right… Is ‘festering’ the right word, or does ‘decaying’ suit it better? No…this sentence is all wrong now! I look at the clock, then to the word count. Embers frustration pulse with life. At one hundred words an hour, I’ll finish this manuscript sometime around…Nevuary! My last blog was about NaNoWriMo and the main difference between professional authors (Martin, Sanderson, King, etc.) and aspiring professionals—dedication and time spent on their craft. Countless hours spent vomiting words onto paper, pounding the keyboard until their better half yells at them to move to the other room, churning out story after story.
NaNoWriMo—50,000 words in one month, 12,500 words per week, 1667 words per day. The quintessential milestone for writers across the globe. A marathon where fingers run the race and bottoms bear the burden. It takes a level of dedication that is difficult to achieve for aspiring writers. Most of us simply don’t have enough time in the day, after work and family, but there is a much more subtle and insidious detriment that plagues aspiring writers—our perspective of a writer’s life. We hear it all the time: “If you want to be a writer, you have to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!” It’s easy for us to imagine people like George R. R. Martin, J. K. Rowling, and Brandon Sanderson, perpetually churning our manuscripts, rolling from one 500k word manuscript to another with as much effort as a hawk in flight. Some of us receive David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants, how casually he
I’m selfish with my time. I spend it how I want. It’s my most precious commodity. Be it a second, a day, a week, or a year, time can only be given, and can never be recovered. I learned to value my time during my tours in combat, especially after I was shot. I was in a pretty high-speed reconnaissance unit, with an amazing group of people, and we were involved in some pretty influential missions. Hollywood would have you believe that war is a daily suck-fest, and every patrol ends in a glorious battle, bullets cracking the air, explosions roiling with fire, casualties all around. If Hollywood offered a truly accurate story, war movies would be a starving genre that people watched after giving up on Billy Mays infomercial reruns. A realistic 2-hour war movie would take 4 hours to rent, and only have about 10 minutes of shoot ’em up
I recently introduced my boys to James Bond and Star Trek. They loved them. Of course, I had initially intended to start them off with Sean Connery and James T. Kirk. But they had other plans. “Let’s watch them from newest to oldest!” Sacrilege, I thought. But two endearing little smiles melted my resolve and we started the Bond movies with Spectre. Just the other day we watched A View to A Kill, tied as my all-time favorite Bond movie alongside Never Say Never. As I’m watching the James Bond movies in reverse, it’s interesting to see how writing has changed. I don’t remember ever watching new James Bond movies and thinking to myself, “Self…that’s about the corniest crap I’ve ever seen”, and yet, there I was, scoffing and guffawing alongside the kids. When I watched A View to A Kill at their age, I remember thinking, “I know it’s not real…but it’s so