FIVE books in? Heck, I'm only a half a book in and I already know there's no money here unless someone buys it for a film. I'm not writing the kind of book that is going to be a crazy, trendsetting novel. I'm writing a romantic comedy, a mostly light, sometimes thoughtful expose of a looney woman who has to write fiction, deal with her relationship with her father, and juggle a day job. In that sense, it's mostly biographical. Except that she's nothing like me in personality--or is she? I've discussed that before. I never know how much I'm revealing about myself, but I do know that I have to finish the book before I can start the real work on it--editing, rewriting and reconstructing in part. I already did the part of throwing most of it out, so I hope I can skip that this round.
Monday, July 20, 2009
editing, rewriting, and reconstruction
Any writer who's accomplished anything tells us they rewrite and rewrite and sometimes throw the whole thing out and start over after all that work. I figure by the time anyone is published, they must make about 25 cents an hour on the deal--if that. Evan Marshall in The Marshall Plan Workbook, a book about structuring not just your novel, but your writing career, has a great first section that brings home the financial reality of most writers' lives: "Any of us can name writers with healthy six-figure incomes who have no need to undertake any additional work to support themselves. And as an agent I can tell you that many writers who are patient eventually work their way up to advances and royalties large enough to live on. But to expect this kind of monetary reward from your novels one, two or even five books into your career can be a big mistake."