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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Gift Books

Over the years, I've heard other authors talk about gift books. They said they're rare, but every once in a while, they'll have a story that just flows out. These stories take little revision on their part and the editors who get these books don't ask for many revisions.

I've never, ever had a gift book. All my stories have involved struggle and frustration. So my question is: When do I get my gift book? I'm working on my 6th book to be published. I wrote 3 before I sold my first and I've written a novella. Can't I have one that's easy and practically writes itself? If you go by the law of averages, would you think I'm due by now?

The counterpart to the gift book would be the book from hell. I can't remember hearing other authors talk about this, but surely I'm not the only one who's landed one of those, right? Unfortunately, the WIP is a book from hell. I've never trashed the amount of pages I've trashed in this one. I've cut everything I had at least a dozen times, and a little over a week ago, I trashed everything except chapter 1 and chapter 3 and started over yet again. It made the book much better, but, ouch!

I never thought writing was easy. It's always been hard work for me, but I've never had a book like the WIP either. I used every trick I know or have heard about. I have reams of notes and character sketches and dozens of emails with stream of consciousness brainstorming, but nothing helped. Until this week. I don't know if it was cutting the crap or if it was a miracle, but things finally clicked into place. That doesn't mean I still won't be struggling to get the words down, but at least now I know what the general theme is and I know some of the scenes I need.

I think my next story should be my gift book. After I fight my way through the WIP, I'll deserve it. Unfortunately, I'm not sure gift books work like that. I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hope that some day I can be one of those authors talking about their magical story that seemed to write itself. Until then, back to work.