Book writing, like wine,
only gets better with time;
and an enormous amount of revision. emy
Okay everybody, I am finally almost done. For reals this time! Really, I meant it!
But what a chore it has been.
For a while I have been threatening to write a memoir. Well, I finally did, but the funny thing is that it’s not my memoir. Though, of course, it has an awful lot of my heart and soul in it.
It’s really the fictional memoir of a homeless man named Nick. I have a desire to bring awareness to the tragedy of homelessness and the heartbreak of un-adopted foster kids that age out of foster care, and end up homeless.
As if those poor kids have not been through enough already.
Yes, this really does happen, by the way.
You may have some questions.
How did I end up writing a fictional memoir, rather than my own? And What on earth would make me think anyone would even be interested in reading my memoir anyway?
Early May 2013 on a whim, an embarrassing character flaw, I decided to take on a short story fiction course as a project. The course promised to walk the student through two short stories 1500-4000 words each, in eight lessons. I took on the challenge figuring it could only help my writing. At first, I had no clue what I would write about and brainstormed with my husband one evening. The brainstorming proved fruitful. An idea was conceived that included a coat found by an extremely needy person somewhere, and somehow that coat would change the person’s life. There you have it. The book is called:
Black Coat with a Silver Lining.
As for my own memoir, I have had a rather unique life. The first 10 years of my life were spent in the communist country of Cuba, and then my life became more complicated from that point, long story; very long.
I have been told I should write a book, even by professionals, and have been haphazardly working on writing a memoir since way before 2008, when I found my half-brother who did not even know I existed, and for the first time saw a picture of my father. When I told friends of the miraculous story, God’s hand was truly all over answering the long stifled yearning of an only child to find her brother, several people suggested I write a book.
However, the first book I ended up writing came as a complete surprise to me. I never thought I had it in me to write fiction at all, not a book anyway. I used to make up stories for my kids when they were small, but they were always kid stories with giants, castles, heroes, and mean guys.
Armed with the idea of needy person finding a coat that would change their life, and fortified by prayer, I let the story brew over a few nights then sat down to write my first story rough draft just in time to meet the deadline.
I was amazed as the rough draft nearly wrote itself. It was like God was saying, this book needs to be written.
That was nearly a year ago. As I write this, I shake my head at my past naivety in what it takes to write and revise a manuscript, and get it ready for publishing. Oh, and yes, it is way more than 4000 words.
Compared to writing the story, editing and revision has been the most enormously time consuming, headache causing, eye straining, tire kicking, yet equally rewarding task.
While there were those moments when editing felt like a genuine chore, I grew excited as I saw new traits come alive in my characters and their words rolled smoothly off paper, and as they grew in dimension.
However, revision has been a disciplinary trial to say the least. In my case, routine and scheduling has always been challenging.
Writing is a very time consuming art, obviously one cannot easily multitask much while writing a book.
Then there is the big question.
When do I fit editing in while living? Or wait, is it more like, When do I fit in life while editing?
Unfortunately, I tend to get those intermixed. How do I schedule God, husband, relationships, housework, cooking meals, gardening, shopping; oh yeah, and me, while in the midst of the over consuming task of revising?
Ay, ay, ay! Thank goodness my family is small. I eventually sort of figured it out, maybe.
I prefer the old traditional publishing road, and checked into the pros and cons of self-publishing vs. traditional, but until an observant and adventurous publisher knocks on my door, I will go self.
Black Coat with a Silver Lining
The picture shown is of the second actual book proof I lived through, checking for typos, etc. I have dropped the “The” in the title. I am now waiting for my third and final proof. Amazon promises to have it to me by April 11. Yikes, I want to be done and move on to my other memoir, a real live one.
So that is all for now, but just to warn you, my next few posts will be about the book,
Black Coat with a Silver Lining.
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2014 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com. ♛