Sunday, June 6, 2010


I had to attend the funeral of good friend yesterday.  Though painful, I have to live with the fact that I'm responsible for his death.  It became obvious that his demise was necessary.  I fought for him time after time, and my wife bit her tongue for the longest time before admitting he should go.  It was tough for her to come forward with her feelings because she knew how much he meant to me.  When I got the feeling literary agents couldn't get past him either, I reluctantly knew it had to be done.

His name or circumstance doesn't matter.  Getting rid of him required a great deal of thought and a measurable amount of reworking but now that he's gone, I'm glad.  Truth is, I'm missing him less and less.

Such is the nature of rewriting and examining a manuscript over and over.  It's a tedious, sometimes ugly process.  Sort of like looking in a full length mirror and recognizing the areas that need work.  It's easy to walk away but that doesn't solve anything.  You've seen the reality and the question is, what are you going to do about it?

The writing process is reminiscent of one of my favorite childhood cartoon series -- The Rocky And Bullwinkle Show.  I loved when the narrator would sometimes tease alternate previews at the end, setting up the next episode.  When you tuned in again, the beginning was not without its drama as well.  Here is an example from the show, not that different from creating drama in a thriller novel.

Narrator: Well, today we find our heroes flying along smoothly...

Rocket J. Squirrel: Flying along smoothly?

Bullwinkle J. Moose: You're just looking at the picture sideways!

Rocket J. Squirrel: Actually it's like this!

Narrator: Oh... OH GOOD HEAVENS! Today we find our heroes plunging straight down toward disaster at supersonic speed!

Bullwinkle J. Moose: That's better.

Couldn't have written it better myself.  One example ends in rejection.  The other keeps your interest.  Mix in the right character development like Boris Badenov and  Natasha Fatale and we're talking signed to major deal category.