Writing a Book Is Hard. Really HARD.


So. I haven’t blogged in a while. Bet you can’t guess why. Nope, not Thanksgiving. No, not Christmas shopping, either. Yep, you’re right. It’s because of THE BOOK.

I heard back from my editor after her first read/suggestions, and I’ve been immersed inside my own writing ever since. (Plus, I haven’t had any Comp papers to grade in a while. Next week, that all changes until mid-December. Ugh.)

I submitted my MS (that’s an abbreviation for manuscript in the biz, btw) in three parts to her, just as I had written for my MFA thesis. She gave me ideas, and I’ve been working on them, really thinking I was knocking this fairy tale book (think more crises, less magic) outta the park, until tonight. Like right now.

As I perused some comments from others (professors and editors) about my MS, I was struck by one comment that said that my story started and ended with the accident. I never thought about it like that…and now I am. But how do I do this? I mean, three parts, in the order they are now–chronological–1) heart attack, 2) car accident, and 3) recovery, seems much more conducive to the fairy tale angle. If I start and end with the car accident, or something like that, I’m afraid I will have to ditch something I’ve been working on since I got my MFA–the Cinderella idea. [Insert sad, pouty face here.]

Hurry, hurry Cinderella! Before your time runs out!

I do like, however, the idea of a kind of braided narrative: the accident and recovery narrative straight through, woven with the past and the heart attack, etc. as a kind of filling in with flashbacks/history…but wouldn’t that get a bit confusing? All those hospital rooms and stays running into each other? And what would happen to the fairy tale angle without straight chronology? You never read a fairy tale written with flashbacks, for goodness sakes! Of course, The Wizard of Oz is one long dream, really, so it’s sort of a frame story done differently, if you even consider it a fairy tale. I mean, I guess I could be ground breaking, right? And then again, we all know how that could turn out. My book–THE BOOK–could be a flop, simply because it’s confusing.

So. That’s where I am. Struggling with structure. Wondering which way to go on the Yellow Brick Road. Any Scarecrows out there with advice?

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