As a writer, the best gift I ever received was to hear my scene being brought to life by professional actors. I was invited to participate in a playwriting class at a regional theater. I had never written a play, nor did I think I was about to. But the course needed one more participant to happen. After a little nudging, I thought, “what the heck?” It couldn’t hurt to look at writing from a different perspective. Right?
My novel launches in July of this year. It has been a long process full of rewrites, edits, revisions, additions, subtractions, frustrations, and inspirations. Looking back on this beast’s earliest iterations, I wonder how many versions did it go through to get to here.
An audience is the target of your communication. Written communication is an odd duck because the transmission is not immediate. When you speak to someone in person, the communication is rooted at that particular moment. The written word typically exists without a direct interface.
This is important because for a connection to be made, the author must imagine the audience.
As we all know, stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Nothing new there. But just how many words it takes to get there is highly regulated, especially for debut novelists. All novels should be at least 60,000 words. Otherwise, they’re novellas. Less than 20,000, and they’re short stories. And depending on what kind of story you write there are established boundaries that are not to be crossed.
The New Year didn’t wait to blast our family into action. My youngest son wasn’t feeling well on January first. By the morning of the second, we were in the hospital for emergency surgery. I spent the following week at the hospital, sitting by his side, comforting him, and updating concerned friends and family of his condition.
With the pandemic at large, only his mother and I were allowed to come to visit. Everybody else had to settle with the occasional video chat and Facebook updates. Though, people found creative ways to support him.
The year before last, I decided to try a writer’s retreat, hoping to inspire and accelerate my latest work-in-progress. My wife is a published poet, and the idea appealed to her as well. Many web packages were out of our price range, so I decided to put my own package together with an eye toward relatively untraveled paths.
The other day, I wanted to tell my husband something vital. We were running low on eggs or that a new murder series had been added to Brit Box. You know, items that could make or break a relationship. After coming up empty, I found him watching television in our finished basement, some kind of show called ACL.
The only ACL I was familiar with was the ligament in my knee that I busted and had to get replaced a few years ago. I had NO idea that ACL also stood for the American Cornhole League or another competing association called the American Cornhole Organization.