Sunday, October 18, 2009


I say again, you are not Dan Brown...unless you are Dan Brown and you've gotten lost while searching for someone else's blog.

For the rest of you, knock it off!

We, the silly writers of the world, have somehow gotten it into our heads that we are capable of anything any other writer does or has done. If Mr. Whatsit can get a contract for 17 books to be written in a couple of years, or if Thee Nora can crank out a book every two months, or less, we assume they're spinning gold right off their tongues, or fingertips, landing on the hard drive in a perfected state. After all, it's not unreasonable to believe that after you've got your head on straight and that writing muscle pumping like a machine, you are able to pump out fantastic first drafts.

You would be wrong. They would be wrong. We are all bloody wrong, okay?

Of course we get better the more we write. The fourth book is always better than the first, and so on--unless we are burdened with a degenerative disease or an incredibly stubborn pride in every word we write. Yes, stubborn pride is a burden--don't be proud of it! Remember Elizabeth Bennett won the day only AFTER she put her pride aside. So will you. Okay, we.

The point, Nuwanda, is that the only one who might enjoy reading your first draft is you--not your critique partners, probably not even your mother. You are the only one who could think your raw material is brilliant. If you think your first draft, or second, is a gift to the world, you'd be the kind of chef who would advertise two eggs for ten bucks because they have the potential of becoming a gourmet omelet.

I have news for you. No one wants your eggs. Eggs are a dime a dozen, (or a dime each these days).

Recipe for a sellable omelet? I can only guess. Second drafts might crack the shell, but drastic revisions can break them wide open. At this point, it's just a mess without a bit of containment/organization. Using tips from other writers and conferences should add a bit of spice, but you still need to put in some elbow grease and a lot of heat/focused attention.

You selling fresh eggs with great potential?
You may as well be selling blank paper.

Need more professional advice than mine? See this post from Jessica Faust:


Mary said...

Very Well Said! I'm SOOO not Dan or Nora, or Sandra. I'm me and so far I have a long, long way to go.

Anonymous said...

Love this! If we want to be a Tennis Pro we would play tennis every day. If you want to win a marathon you run every day so . . . if you want to be a writer . . . you do more than sit in the cafe and talk about it!