I think the cloud is finally lifting. It’s not necessarily that lots of good things are starting to happen, but I’m getting my optimistic bearing back. My perspective is changing. I have to say, this was probably the longest optimism drought I’ve ever had. I’ve gone through lots of tough situations but usually I brood about it for a day or two and then everything is back to normal. This last streak was almost three weeks long mixed with several days on and off in the preceding month. I have a good life. I enjoy it and have much to look forward to. The comments I’ve received here have been immeasurable in their encouragement and help in regaining my perspective. I’m young, I’ll probably make many more mistakes and be in many more worse situations but there’s always hope around the next corner.

Now, onto what I’ve been working on during this mood change. The Mexico donkey story is coming along nicely. After getting about 1,000 words of it down I started having second thoughts about it, wondering if it was too extreme but then Sarah asked me if I was going to quit because the story wasn’t going to work or because I was squeamish. I finally admitted it was because I was squeamish. I think it’s going to turn out to be a good story and I think there are some interesting ideas I can explore with it so I’m going to finish it. We’ll see when I’m done with it whether I think it goes too far. I doubt it.

I’ve also been contemplating Lunchbox Hero. Now that I’m deep into the next book with a new character who is becoming fully developed, I’m happy to see that LBH wasn’t the only good idea I’ll ever have. I went back and reread most of it and I still think it’s a solid book and could land me a literary agent. It also has flaws, most of which I think are fixable but with guidance from someone else. I’ve started thinking about sending it back out into the marketplace and continue trying to land an agent. Is this a bad idea? Should I wait until I have the best book I’ve ever written done and submit that or see what I can land with my first book?

6 thoughts on “

  1. Hey Bryon,Congratulations on pulling out of the funk! I’m with you, man. These winter months can be brutal without much good news to look forward to.That said, I’d like to respond to the “squeamish” factor of storytelling. I’ve learned the past five years that if I’m writing a scene that I’m absolutely certain will offend or turn off a reader because it is a) disgusting; b) perverted; or c) twisted – then readers will most likely respond positively to it. In fact I’d go a step further and say that most of the stuff I’ve written that gets the most favorable response is usually the stuff that, when I’m writing it, I go, “My God, I can’t write this shit. This is horrible.” Usually the more truly I believe that it is horrible, the better the response from readers.If you’ve ever seen that episode of Seinfeld where George decides to always do the opposite of what he would normally do, this is exactly what I’m talking about. My two cents worth…Stacey

  2. I’ll put in a few cents worth on the LBH Dilemma, but it’s not the voice of experience talking here.I think you have to think about the kind of writer you want to be. It’s a competitive world out there in publishing, and it looks like you can only get a few books out there before you either make it or lose it.It’s probably better to have those few books in a series, or standalones with a similar quality, one that is recognisably yours.So I say think about your next couple of novels, and figure out if LBH is what you want to keep doing. From what I gather, the newer stuff is darker. You probably wouldn’t want to position yourself as a crime comedy writer, then try to sell yourself as something else.In terms of putting out your best book first, I’m of the opinion that if it’s your best, it’s probably the only book you have in you.

  3. This is probably a dumb question, but have you had other writers whose opinion you trust take a long critical look at LBH? Do you think it’s ready for prime time? If you don’t then it’s not ready. But if you do, and people you trust agree with you, then I’d say yes, send it out and see.Looking at it again after a while and seeing that it’s got flaws, as opposed to, “My god, how could I have written this crap,” is a good sign.Daniel raises a good question. Is this what you want as your first novel? Does this say what you want to say the way you want to say it? I’m willing to bet that you’ve got more than one novel locked up in your noggin.

  4. That IS great news. I’m glad you reached out. As a serious introvert I’m always pleasantly surprised when people step up and help me out of the ruts I get myself into… all I have to do is ask. The hard part is remembering.I won’t discuss squeamishness. Too desensitized. ;)I say go for the market with your first book, but fix the flaws first. Make it as marketable as you can, and you know, don’t worry about typecasting. If the best book you’ve ever written is a major departure from early work, people will forgive you for sake of a great read (look at Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River success). On the other hand, if you start with your best and then sell your previous work, you risk getting “sophomore (and beyond) slump” reviews.

  5. See what you can land.Waiting for the best book could take forever (and should, as Daniel says) – every book should be better than the last.The worst that happens? LBH doesn’t find a home. But then you’ve got the next one ready to roll and you do the exact same thing with that.

  6. Excellent! Sarah as a muse. I applaud.And I’m glad she made a difference.Otherwise, I agree with John (my God! Did I say that?)You get what you have into the best possible shape and market it. And you start immediately on the next one.I sold the second and fourth; and then I revised the first and sold it, too.So keep working.

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