What is wrong with you people?

Why are you not flocking to my blog, re-blogging all my fantastic posts, and flooding me with comments and requests for more of the First Novel?  I am the Next Great Novelist!

Well, maybe it’s not entirely your fault.  Maybe I’m not all that interesting. . . yet.  Or maybe I just totally suck.  Okay, well I pretty much suck most of the time, I guess.  But every time I post I get better, right?  Right?  (listens for the sound of nodding heads)

I actually have something worthwhile to discuss rather than just complaining (which is still complaining even though I do it tongue-in-cheek).  First, I have finished Chapter 11 of the First Novel (with a Zeppelin!), and have begun on Chapter 12, wherein the female protagonist lands her first Hollywood role.  Which will lead to. . . oh no you don’t.  No spoilers yet.  It will lead to the end of the story!  So there’s that.

And, I’ve also done some work on the Second Novel.  I’ve realized that while the First Novel is great, the greatest greatness of the Next Great Novelist will be in subsequent novels.  So I worked on my new protagonist and actually put in some effort on creating the character first rather than just banging away at the keys in some naive hope that the story will magically coalesce out of the vast ether of unexpressed ideas into a brilliant, coherent, and marketable story.

I’ve also been working on improving my craft by reading what those who are much farther along the path of authorship than I have to say about it.  Today I came across a post by Karen Lamb titled “The Bookpocalypse” which rather bluntly explains why the First Novel is likely to be childish scribbling compared to the inspired masterpiece which the Second Novel will surely become and how the First Novel may be destined to become nothing more than tiny bits of ash once I finally realize that explosives are a more fitting end for it than the humiliation of publication.

Before I break out the dynamite, however, I’m going to at least finish the first draft of the First Novel and solicit some feedback from a few beta readers.  Then I’ll put some strong effort into a rewrite.  Once in a while, to give myself a little break, I will plunk away on the work for the Second Novel, for which I only have the vaguest notion of a plot so far.  It will be GREAT though!

The Pragmatic Dreamer

In my dreams, I’m a famous and best selling author.  I’ve had a dozen or so novels made into major Hollywood blockbusters.  I have a half a dozen homes, a collection of vintage automobiles, and I travel halfway around the planet on the slightest whim, just to have lunch at that fabulous little cafe in Dbrovnk.

That’s the dreamy part.  The pragmatic part is that I live in an ordinary home and have a (semi) ordinary day job that pays the bills.  I am The Next Great Novelist, but to realize that destiny I must put forth the effort it requires to attain that lofty goal.  In order to sell the First Novel, I must first finish writing it.  That’s where the pragmatism slaps the dream down and tells it to take a number.

This morning, as part of my daily avoidance mechanism for writing the First Novel, I visited this blog.  And by this blog, I mean that I didn’t actually start doing any writing, but instead wasted a bit of time browsing other blogs.  I’ve also perused a few websites in the past that explain how to publish the First Novel (and the rest of them).

My friend, whom I’ll affectionately call “Chainsaw,” for reasons that he will understand, has published a couple of his books already.  Published used to mean a huge display of flashy hardcover novels occupying front and center at every bookstore in the county.  That might have been how it worked back in the 1900s, but this is the 2000s and we do it a bit differently these days.  Published, in Chainsaw’s case, means he uploaded his file to Amazon, filled out a few online forms, and clicked a couple of buttons.  Dun Da Dun!  Published.

I can see that a lot of writers here in Blogspace publish their works for free.  I understand the process of marketing.  It’s all about making your name into a brand, selling your product, gaining recognition.  It’s work.  If it was easy, we’d all be living in Malibu/South of France/Tahiti.

I’m not young anymore – which is perhaps why I tend to be the Grumpy Curmudgeion often – and I find myself holding onto some traditional concepts.  I’d really like the First Novel to get published in the traditional manner.  I know, because I learned all about it in fifteen minutes on the internet, that it is a daunting challenge and that for every great breakthrrough new author who makes it onto the New York Times bestseller list with his first novel, there are thousands and thousands of authors who worked just as hard, produced books that are just as good, and for whatever reason – perhaps just plain old chance – are still doing their day jobs and dreaming of the day when they too can join the ranks of the wealthy and famous authors.

There are a lot of things that will need to happen before my dream can resove itself into reality.  I have rather a long list, but the first item is obvious.  Before I can begin the efforts to get the First Novel published, I must finish writing it.

Yay! I’m bloggin’! I’m bloggin!

Whew.  So it took me an hour or so to set up the blog here.  Usually, wordpress is much faster, but I had had an old blog with an old username and I didn’t want that one anymore.  So I had to change a lot of stuff around to come up with all of this.  Now, I’m all tired and don’t feel like writing!

I’m just going to write about whatever the hell I feel like writing about.  I’ve never studied English formally beyond the few required classes in High School and College, yet I have the gonads to call myself a writer – because I’ve read all about how to do it on the internet!

They say – the Great and Nebulous They – that to be a writer, one must write.  It’s an art and a craft and while one may possess innate abilities, they will only go so far.  To be great – The Next Great Novelist – to get to the Carnegie Hall of writing – I must practice, practice, practice.

And so it begins.