Friday, June 3, 2011
The First Manuscript or Farewell My Lovely DAYDREAM!
My VERY FIRST manuscript was in the crime genre!
Yup, I had been planning on being the next (feminine version) of James M. Cain or Raymond Chandler. I was so into this sort of writing although I was mainly into the film versions of the great noir classics.
Okay, this was the gist if it sounds familiar DON'T TELL ME, OKAY?!
Johnny's got a girl (Edie's sister, Beth) who's wild about him only he doesn't appreciate her until after she gets over killed by the villain in the piece, a spoiled mama's boy from Long Island (Desmond Charles) who has had a history of long stays in private nut bins.
Des hates Edie but kills her sister instead which is ironic because Beth was nice to him.
I want you to know while working on my masterpiece I'm getting tech help from police!
I also go plowing through every noir crime novel I can find. Read all of Ed McBain (love them )!
But then I run out of steam. I end it (in a fashion, the MS I mean, not my life)! And if you're dying to know how I ended it, Edie has left her husband, gone to Johnny but Des' mommy tries to shoot Johnny only she misses and kills Edie. Poor kid dies in the street and the last line is supposed to knock the reader out with Edie saying just before she croaks it: "death is my destiny..." which is the title, get it?!!!
Okay, I put it away, I take it out. I'm not happy with it. Something's wrong. YEAH HECK SOMETHING'S WRONG I DON'T WRITE CRIME, especially stuff that's been done a zillion times!
oh and by the way, this song by Artie Shaw was my choice for sound track for a film version of my story!
I mean what was I thinking when I know I mainly read horror? Why did I think I could write a decent crime novel? At least I'm rational most of the time.
So why did I do it in the first place I hear you ask? Who knows? I think I was finding myself and I was experimenting. I realize that now, but not then. Then, I went blank. I just stopped, but then I did the best thing I could have done. I joined the Masters of Horror Writers (writing group), headed up by author Lee Pletzers. It was on Ning then. From there in the space of 10 months I was submitting and getting published.
I kept on writing even though I had no idea when I would dare start another novel. I didn't rush into anything and I'm glad. It took about two years and the wait was worth it. My writing improved, I learned about the markets and grasped reality as much as possible.
We grow while we wait, if we don't stress or pressure ourselves into paralysis. That first MS is our springboard--it might be a mess but it's a first step and first steps are important because every journey begins with one!