Yes, I do.
Remember the last time someone acted a bit snarky with you at the supermarket or on line at the local bank. Have you replayed a moment like that in your mind wishing you had said something clever? Well, one of my secondary characters in my manuscript Paradox, his name is Razor, always has a wry remark ready. Yes, and I grit my teeth and shake my fist every time he says the clever line that’s never discharged from my mouth.
Do I Live vicariously through my characters?
YES, yes, yes. I admit it. With no shame or guilt. My characters accomplish all the things that I never could. They lead exciting lives traveling the world, sipping on the finest champagne, making love to the most beautiful women, and most importantly; overcoming every obstacle. And trust me, I make it hard for them!
Andrew Duran the mysterious fugitive with the secretive past; skilled in combat and in bed. Veyda the unselfish warrior determined to save mankind, ready to sacrifice her own happiness to save the world. These guys are filled with such passion. Theirs lives are extraordinary.
So, I admit my characters bring excitement to my life. And why not? They are the most interesting people I know.
Do you live through vicariously through your characters?
Without a doubt this is the most whined about topic in writing forums. When I receive a rejection letter there are two thoughts that automatically come to my mind. 1) My query didn’t induce enough enthusiasm in the agent for them to request a sample of my work. 2) The first five pages (my brief sample included in the submission) contained faults or weaknesses that lead the agent to conclude the novel is unmarketable (or worse. LOL). There are many reasons why an agent may not want to see your work; not currently looking for that genre, already has too many writers, etc. I prefer to be hard on myself and take the blame.
My attitude: my work or presentation could have been better. We as writers need to be honest with ourselves when it comes to the rejection. Taking on this attitude can only make us better writers and marketeers. Blaming the literary agents may be easier, but that doesn’t force us to view our own work with a critical eye. Were your first five pages as tight as they can be? Is your hook strong enough to attract interest? Are you presenting this manuscript in the right way?
For me, the most difficult and frustrating part of this process is not receiving any feedback. Not knowing what part of your presentation query, sample pages, or synopsis lacked appeal makes it so challenging. The process as it currently stands, leaves you trapped in the twilight zone (or in a lonely literary hell like a car caught in a ditch of mud and unable to escape). It is a shame agents don’t use a response form letter with a list of options they could check off to inform you what they didn’t like. For example; weak query, synopsis vague, writing not up to par, too many typos or errors,or even a simple I don’t like you. (I’ll accept any kind of criticism at this point). As crude as this may seem, it would provide invaluable information.
Any kind of input would be great as long as it isn’t destructive criticism (see photo).
What do you think?
Ocean waves stroked the tranquil beach as a warm breeze rustled idle palm leaves. Moonlight glistened off of the barrel of his Smith and Wesson radiating its own personal glow. The scene appeared as natural as the shifting tides or setting sun; as normal as the death and betrayal that punctuated his godforsaken life.
Scratching his stubble covered face; Andrew Duran considered his environment and the ungodly events that brought him here. Time may wane the pain of this treason. His memory might fade as years go by, but he would never forgive their treachery. His square jaw moved as he ground his teeth in rage. Unwavering hatred grew like an unholy tumor, consuming the goodness that once resided inside him, eradicating the man that once existed.
No one could see it coming. They framed a true American hero and labeled him a traitor. Duran should have expected it; his eyes had seen the forbidden. Destined to a life on the run, hunted by the very government that made him, he swore he would never trust again. He expected his past to haunt him.
His enemies would eventually come for him. Here on the shores of Communist Cuba, an island condemned to live in shadows, Andrew Duran would wait for them.
- – Andrew Duran is the protagonist of my novel/screenplay thriller The Exterminator’s Diary
Why did I chose the name the Lonely Author blog? If you are a writer you already know the answer, or should I say you have already lived the answer? Hour upon hour sitting before a laptop, stringing words together to form sentences. Writing paragraphs full of emotion and tension. Filling up blank pages with nouns, verbs, and adjectives in hopes of eliciting a response in our readers. Unaccompanied moments certain we have written prose as sweet as honey, fighting the angry demons inside our skulls who assure us we only created Blasphemy, Bullshit, and Beyond.
My objective is to create an inspirational depot for the weary writer to seek asylum. Hopefully, I can motivate unpublished authors after they receive another rejection note. Maybe my blog will combat the dreaded creature known as writer’s block. At the very least, I expect to make you smile. Perhaps, if nothing else, this blog will allow me to cling to my fragile sanity as I struggle to be heard.