Friday, April 6, 2012

F. I have no idea what the F "F" is for. Fiction? Fairy tales? Fantasy?

Despite the title of today's blog post, I'm not angry.  I just can't come up with a suitable F word that doesn't involve something I have to whisper into the phone receiver when I'm really really really ticked off.

The novel is going well.  Really well.  Almost to the point that it's "out of control" well, so today is the day I'm going to do a little wrangling and a little timelining and start to get this thing in some sort of sensible format, rather than just interviews, descriptions, and a few random action scenes with dialogue sprinkled in the margins.

I've decided the best way to do this, and what I will do in future endeavors, is to number my notebook pages.  I went through and numbered what I had this morning, and I'm astonished to see I'm already on page 66.  Seriously.  Sixty-six handwritten notebook pages.  I doubt all the slop and scrawl, the backstory if you will, is going to make it between the covers of the final product, but there is going to be a ton of "fleshing out," too.  I'm really doing it.  I still can't fathom the whole thing.

What did it take to get me to this point?  From the point of "I want to be a writer" to "F-it, I'm writing a novel"?  Some of it had to do with timing, but the majority of my motivation came when a short story I submitted to an anthology was accepted, and I actually saw my name in print.  It made it into a book.

There's nothing wrong with online publications, so please don't think I'm snubbing the likes of Chiaroscuro or any other awesome online mags, but there is something so satisfactory about holding a book in my grubby hands:  a book that holds my story.

When I wrote, "In Eden," it was one of the easiest stories I'd ever written, but finding a market proved difficult.  A zombie western is a hard sell.  Another work of mine that is out right now is still proving to be a difficult story to sell, but it's the only other piece I've written that seemed to write itself.  Those are the pieces that hit you, the ones where your hand leaves an ink trail across the paper because you simply can't get the story down fast enough.  I know there is a market out there.  I thought I'd found one recently as I'd perused their online fiction and saw a story with a similar premise, a take on an old fairy tale.

I received the rejection yesterday:  "not a good fit."

Out it went again, off to bigger and better locales.  You just can't quit.  Ever.

My first piece of flash fiction that was published, I felt like the market was created simply for my story.  I awaited the email not with trepidation, but with a fair amount of patience for a first time submission.  I knew it would make it.  I simply knew it.

But now, I find that I'm not writing for a market.  I'm writing for the sheer reason that I have to see how these characters' stories end up.  I have to see what happens next.  I have to see where this goes.  I can't stop.  It's such a wonderful feeling.

So now that we're all in agreement on not knowing what the eff the F is for, I'm heading back to the numbered pages of my hot pink notebook.  I'm sick today, went to bed under Nyquil and husband's orders last night.  Hopefully it'll be a quick one.

Wishing you all a happy F day, filled with lots of, ... oh, that's just wrong.   ;)