Hey! Who wrote this book?
It all started earlier this week when I was preparing a talk on Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. There was an intro by Edwidge Danticat and I decided to look her up. I’d known of her writing for years and always thought of her as an older woman.
She’s only FIVE years older than me!
AND she’s been wining awards and recognition for her writing since I went off to college.
I posted about that on Facebook, questioning what the heck I’d been doing all this time with my writing, and an old friend suggested we share works in progress to help move things along. Being as he is a really good editor, I pulled out my Biomalware manuscript from last August that I wrote during Camp NaNoWriMo.
Now, what I want to know is, who wrote this book when I wasn’t looking? Because there’s 149 pages and it’s not nearly as bad as I remember. I guess what they say about giving it time in a drawer is true.
So, yesterday I took the afternoon off to work on it. Of course, I got a stomach virus but that’s a story you don’t want to hear and I STILL managed to get the novel outlined and rearranged some pieces of it – after a nap.
(I’m sure I’ve mentioned Biomalware before but to bring everyone up to speed, the novel is set in the near future where a new strain of genetic modification to crops has created food which isn’t food for everyone, some people cannot derive nutrition from it. Now it is infiltrating even the organic crops through pollen contamination, and that’s not all it’s doing. The short story that started it is here, in case you’re interested.)
My next step is to use the information on Scenes and Sequels that I learned from Jim Butcher’s LiveJournal to focus the action in each chapter. (If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it. He hasn’t written much lately but the information on how he writes is really useful.)
Then I’ll go back through and tighten up things using the rest of the info in his posts on things like characterization and THEN I’m going to look back at it and make sure I’ve done everything I learned from Donald Maass in his book, Writing the Breakout Novel.
Luckily, after posting on Facebook, I have several more interested readers to give me feedback once I’m ready, as well as my writer’s group.
Now, the problem is that I want to apply for the James Jones Fellowship Contest because I think my book fits in AND because the first prize is TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.
It’s awarded to “an American author of a first fiction novel-in-progress” and “is intended to honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture exemplified by the late James Jones.”
What’s the problem there, you ask? Well, the deadline is March 1st. Luckily they just want the summary and first fifty pages so I will send that out to my readers at the end of the weekend.
Of course, we also plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Saturday and we have a family gathering on Sunday.
Maybe I can get some rest next week.