Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Life of Its Own

Earlier this evening I allowed my brain to decide what I was going to write, rather than writing what I had been writing all summer. It chose to write Bliss. I've had the idea for Bliss for about two years now, and when I started writing it today, it decided it was going to be a bit different than I'd planned.

See, originally it was going to be just a simple story of cross-dimensionality, neuro-transmission, androids and love - sometimes all at the same time - and now its taken on new characteristics. Without meaning to, I introduced an eco-system of poisonous cloud and venomous journalists, made a society of long-living archetypes of perfect humans, and gave my protagonist a wife who is more than just a bossy bitch as I'd originally planned. Now she's a hot blonde model. Who cares about stuff. Who thinks. She's actually amazing. For now.

The reason I'm writing this, of course, is as a warning for people who think they decide what goes into the book in the end. No, as writers we're just the people who have developed typing skills and whose brains act as the hyper-dimensional gateway for ideas to make it from the Realm of Forms into the world we live in. Essentially, I'm my book's bitch, if you want to get ghetto about it all.

But it's not just the book that takes control of the final product, and that's where this gets serious. When entering the world of publishing, first time novelists will be astonished to find out that someone wants them to change their book. Yes, it's true. There are these people called Editors who, if they existed alongside God, would have made sure things ran smoothly before we were release into the world.

Using the all powerful Red Pen, the Editors are what get a book from the submitted draft to the book on the shelves, and its entirely out of the hands of the writer. Well, they still have to do all the work the Editors suggest - and they're quite pushy, so really it's an order, not a suggestion - but they don't get to put their foot down. If they do, they generally do it without a publishing contract. C'est la vie.

Anyway, midnight is staring at me. It's giving me a threatening look, like it knows I should really be in bed by then if I want to do anything productive tomorrow. With 3440 words written on Bliss - just tonight - I think I should be able to manage Camp NaNoWriMo. I hope this book doesn't decide to take control and shut down...

1 comment:

Vikk Simmons said...

The thing to know about editors is that you always want to pick your battles carefully. :)