The Mo’Fuggin A-Team

Posted: June 27, 2011 by joemu362 in Joe

Okay, I’ll be honest – until last night at around ten o’clock, I had no idea what to write about when it came to this thing. Do I write about the fantastic veal parmigiana I had? No, that wouldn’t be very exciting. How about the dog? He did that one thing last night with the barking and nub-wagging. Something about birds? WHAT. I honestly had no idea.

So. Ten o’clock. After a long day of working on the novel (did I mention I’m past the 40k mark finally?) I realized something terrible. Horrible. I daresay even herrible. I had no idea what the hell my villain was doing. Wait, that’s not entirely right. No, I knew What he was doing, or even Why he was doing it, but I hadn’t the faintest idea How. If you don’t know how your villain’s doing things or why he’s doing it the way he is, you’re sort of screwed.

In theory, it should’ve been easy. Where I am at the novel right now, there were only like, five lines which even mentioned what my original idea was anyway. (I’d say, but I don’t want to spoil anything.) All I’d have to do is just erase those and be done with it, right? RIGHT?!

Well, no.

I had a lot of stuff already written about a particular plot element vital to the villain’s strategy, and that would’ve meant completely trashing the novel, curling up into a ball under my writing desk, and waiting for the embrace of sweet, sweet death. Perhaps by dog licks. However, as luck would  have it, I remembered a certain group of writers which I’d battled to form, and thus called upon the full power and cunning of The Hellfire Club to help my ass out, which Chuck Wending referred to as Bringing In The Motherfucking A-Team. Sadly, Pierce is in L.A. working for The Jewish Journal and Chris is busy trying to find a job, so I was boned, irritated, and disheartened at what was now 10pm. But then, wonder of wonders, God, Jesus, Buddha, Cthulhu, whoever must’ve heard my pleas and holy shit Dan logged on.

Little did I realize he was the best person for the job. Chris comes up with plots like nobody’s business, Pierce is the relationships man, but Dan can edit a motherfucking book. After what took about an hour of me trying to catch him up on everything, he practically pulled a “Dude, you realize you could just do it this way, right?”

And the day was saved.

SO. What’s the point here, then? That Dan should be an editor/agent/whatever? Maybe. What I’m really trying to get at is, yeah, writing is often looked at as a solo activity, and in the end, you’re still the one who has to write the story. However, having a group of writing friends, or people who know the craft, or who know what makes a good story, or people who just aren’t as far up the story’s smelly sphincter as you are and can thus see the proverbial forest are absolutely vital. No, really. Look at every Thanks page in a book. There’s always that nod of the head to the people without whom the book could’ve never existed. Normal folks who were able to look at the draft and not only offer advice – everyone has their own idea of what the book should be or where it should go – but can see where you’re going with it, what you’re trying to do, and help you do it.

In Summary: Lesson learned. Back on track. Plenty more book to write.

Stata buon.

xoxo.

j

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