Hi. Yes, I'm blogging when I should be editing. I am taking a moment to gather my thoughts and clear my head. I got the first edit of TCOL (The Cost of Loving) on Sunday night, (Due next Wednesday,) yet I have not gotten very far into the comments from the editor. I opened the e-mail and the document, but time has escaped me thus far. Today is a day I hope to get a huge chunk bitten out of my task. What I have learned so far from comments made by the editor, I wished to share with you. First comments in e-mail: "Dreamspinner Press wants to present your novel in as polished a form as possible so that your powerful story shines through. And it is a very powerful story with a level of emotional realism I found very impressive. .... It was an intense experience reading this novel, and it is a worthy follow-up to its fine predecessor When Love is Not Enough."
EMOTIONAL REALISM!! Yeah! I can't hear that enough. Like with WLINE, (When Love is Not Enough,) I tried to capture my own feelings on paper. I was emotionally devastated in 2010 and wrote from my heart about the pain I experienced. (Poured into fictional characters.) Readers, (those daring enough to open the book,) experienced MY pain and that's why it felt so real. (And I don't mean to come off arrogant, the story is that compelling for most.) So when I wrote The Cost of Loving, I was still going off of my painful experience and pouring myself into Matt's character. I wrote what I felt. This is always going to be my goal. I write from experience, observation, and emotion. I would think that every author does this at some level. Every author places themselves into the lives of the characters and tries to experience the story with them. And if I can convey my thoughts properly, then the reader experiences the story as intensely as it feels when I create it. I WANT the reader to experience it. I wan them to taste it.
TCOL is about Matt Dixon. Blurb (so far):
Being the “golden child” of his family, Matt never dreamed that coming out would challenge his entire understanding of life.
His fear of wrath and judgment over his sexuality fueled his paranoia for twenty-three years. Matt is a Christian and has known for years where his church stood on homosexuality; so to avoid religious ridicule, Matt chose to live two separate lives, much like his friend Jamie Miller, until outing himself in front of the church congregation when a self-righteous pastor prompted Matt’s impulsive nature to take a stand for his best friend’s honor.
What Matt didn’t foresee was how his decisions would affect all those around him. His family, his lover, as well as his friends and coworkers, deal with the impact of his public confession, and the aftermath threatens to tear Matt’s once-perfect world apart. Being “out” forces Matt to come to terms with his guilt, his shame, and his very belief in God.
Matt Dixon is the part of me that challenges the "normal" and dare I say "accepted" standards of "a Christian life." Yes, I used quote marks. And I did so because I feel that even in the church there is a wide range of acceptance from NONE, to everything. Sadly, I think many churches fall into the "NONE" category and are very harsh and judgmental etc.... Matt states he is a Christian in WLINE, so this is the fallout over what comes next. For me, it was learning that I had no friends when the "church" discovered I wrote a GAY romance novel. Stupid, and simple, yet enough to make ME consider what it might be like for my character, Matt. What would Matt go through? How would his family react? Coming out about sexuality is still difficult, even in a society that is progressively, although incrementally, embracing it. TCOL is Matt's emotional journey. And according to the editor, it is an intense experience to read. I hope you all think so too!
But on the other side of the coin, I SUCK at grammar. Have I said that before? I SUCK! I apparently have no concept of how to use a comma, or a semi colon, or a hyphen, etc. So, I am thinking of taking a course at the local college. I need to learn basic English sentence structure and grammar skills. I need to make it easier for the editor the next time. Ya know? I am working on Love, Trust, and Learning to Live Again and this novel needs to be awesome!!!!! It will not be if the editor groans when noticing all the mistakes. I need to help them by helping myself. I called and left a message with the English Department chair so we will see. I might be going back to college. But who knows, I might get some great material for another book. You know I like writing about college students. *winks*
That is all for now.