Saturday, June 28, 2008

 

Susan's Inside Writing: Vision

I love this week's Sunday Scribblings prompt. It's ripe with possibility.

Vision

Do I write about how Scott from Deadly Metal Hatchet wears glasses? Things Chelle observes in her role as a rock and roll reporter for the fictional Trumpet newspaper? What about Roadie Poet? What's in his vision these days besides a friend named Hambone and a girlfriend he calls More?

I could just post the outtake I have ready to go on Sunday night (so if you're reading this after Sunday, be sure to check it out). It's all about a vision Mitchell has. Or I could point you to an archived outtake, like this one. (For anyone familiar with my archives, it's the Flags outtake.)

But when you get right down to it, this blog and everything on it best represents my vision. My vision of my fictional world, my vision of what it's like to share it with readers, my vision of what it means to be a writer in 2008. Yes, I'm dying to bring you Trevor's Song, the novel. No, I can't even begin to tell you how much richer your reading experience will be because you hang out here with me. Or even stop in and visit from time to time, as many of you do.

I can tell you how much richer my own writing and my own vision for my fiction has become. Because I've got this place and because I've got readers, I'm constantly pushing myself to dig deeper into this fictional city of Riverview, USA. Not to mention the things I push myself to discover about these characters you read about here. Yes, even the ones you don't seem to love nearly as much as you love Trevor and Mitchell.

One thing really strikes me in all this: when I began to envision my fake band ShapeShifter (the fake band bit is a reference to my Thursday Thirteen this week and ooh, it hurts to think of these guys as fake. Fictional, sure. Fake? Not so much.), it was Mitchell and Kerri I created first. Trevor has become the proverbial secondary character who insisted on ... well, not just his own book, but really running the show.

Yet look at this. Who do you guys relate to the most? Who are your favorites? Trevor, Mitchell, and Roadie Poet (with Chelle running a close second and probably Lyric right there with her, if you knew her better).

They are all men.

I wish I could tell you about the rejection letters I've gotten from literary agents who ask me who'd want to read a book about a man. That's the reason some of them cite for why they don't want to work with me. They tell me that men don't read as many books as women, and that Trevor's Song can't possibly appeal to women.

Yet Trevor has become the man you can't help but love. You want more of him and frankly, I don't blame you. Trevor breaks the rules, and he does so in a manner that irritates a lot of people because he flaunts those rules he's busy breaking. He blows marijuana smoke in the faces of the school principals while Mitchell hides in a bathroom stall, afraid of what'll happen once he's caught and has to face his father. He's the bad boy with a soft side that everyone but him acknowledges.

I am eager to share my vision with you. I've often been vocal about the idea to collect the outtakes I've written and self-publish a little volume of them, for no reason other than to let you have some Trevor and Mitchell to hold into your hands. I'm holding off on that for now for reasons I don't want to get into, but know that it's something that I just may have to pull a Trevor and do for you. Flaunt the rules, do things my way, on my own terms...

Yeah, that's part of my vision for myself and for you, my readers. There's plenty more, of course, so stay tuned for it.

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Comments:
Always a little war there... do things your own way, or conform and gets lots of accolades. Well, not that you wouldn't get accolades doing it your own way too. But there is that feeling of achievement when what you've done is accepted by a publishing house. I guess it depends on what you think of as "making it". Everyone has a different take on that.

Also, in the words of my character the Mother of All Vampires aka Mere, there is something to be said from the satisfaction you get from creating and driving your own destiny. The rewards can be much greater.
 
They tell me that men don't read as many books as women, and that Trevor's Song can't possibly appeal to women.

What a weird thing to say. I think the story, with all its focus on relationships, is much more appealing to women than to men.
 
Oh, ACK!!! Blows my mind that agents would say that women wouldn't read Trevor's Song because the main characters are men! **beeeep**, wrong answer!

Agents, if any of you are reading my comment, women would love Trevor's Song because we love Trevor! He's a fascinating, endearing character, a strong willed, in-your-face, lovable, bad-ass toasted marshmallow (crusty on the outside, sweet on the inside). We relate to Trevor because we either have a streak of Trevor in us, or we want to develop our inner Trevor.

And heck, who are many of the people who scream excitedly at rock concerts, going ga-ga over male rock stars? That's right: WOMEN!

And Susan, keep on keepin' on! Your fiction and your characters have heart and soul. Your characters are fictional, yes, but never fake. You've created something wonderful and special with your fiction and your blog that keeps people coming back for more.

So, agents: would women read about Trevor? Hell yes! I'm a woman, and I'm chomping at the bit to read Trevor's Song. And so will bunches and bunches and bunches (and bunches!) of other women, too.
 
You hold on tight to that vision Susan, it will take you all the way.
 
An excellent vision, there. The reasons for, and frustrations of, the writer, laid bare.
 
I love what winter said... why do we have this sneaking, hidden desire to conform that upsets our creative balance? Perfectly said.

Women love Trevor types.
 
I can hardly wait to see your full story put together in book form. As it is, I get confused as to the time line. Your vision of your characters is so clear that it is hard not to think of them as real living people.

What makes editors think that women would not be interested in a book about male characters? Do they think that we have no empathy with our husbands, sons (especially sons, in my case), or fathers? Or male friends with whom we are not romantically involved?

Keep your vision alive and your words coming!
 
Stick to your vision, you'll meet one agent that buys into it. I can't wait to read about Trevor.
 
what a crock!!! --- i'm inclined to think that the rejection comments you've gotten are sprung from either laziness or a feeling of being threatened on the part of the stupids that are just devoid of vision themselves --- everything you put out is great and a reader could get right into this story in a heartbeat, no two ways about it!!! --- sometimes life is ugly and you're making it into art, so keep fighting the good fight --- love your stuff!!!!!
 
Aren't publishers a crock? Ive been thinking of selfpublishing my children's book, but not sure how to market a self published book like that...

We all like Trevor... women would love Trevor's Song. Keep sending it - somewhere someone has a brain and will publish it!
 
Hum. Your blog may be addictive.
 
Seriously?? What a crock! I'm an avid reader and I read stories with men protagonists. A lot!
Sheesh...
Imagine if JK Rowling got rejected because little girls read more books than little boys. Would she have changed it to Hermione Granger and the Philosopher's Stone?

head::desk
 
This rejection letter thing I don’t grasp. At all. First, every one of the hundreds of thousands of women who ever did, do, or want to get close to rock and roll gods would read Trevor’s Song. And second, you have a network of real and really interesting women who make the men more real and interesting, the 2/5/07 Kerri/Mitchell outtake one case in point. Basically, ditto bunnygirl. She said it in less words. And what thomma lyn wrote clicked this: what do you have to do to convey to agents that females exist currently, their numbers ever rising, that are in love with all of your characters and the way you bring them to life with your intuition, skill, and style as a writer? Where else can you go, what else can you do to attract attention? Anyway, it sounds like that’s gonna be the writing feat of your life right there! Good thing you have all the ingredients. Man, this was a good post…you see how we all got?! We love your vision!
 
...Trevor's Song can't possibly appeal to women.

???Huh???

That's nuts. Women (well, women like me anyway) LOVE reading about men. We love the window into their heads that we don't normally get. We love getting to see what makes them click, because even 'sensitive' men are far too macho to let us in on the fact that they have emotions just like we do. Sheesh... how hard is that to figure out?

Anyway, don't give up, Susan! You'll hit the agent that gets this - someday real soon, I hope!
 
Isn't a healthy vision like food for your creations? hang tight!
 
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