08 August, 2011

How Hard Can It Be?

Ha.  Ha ha ha ha ha.  Note sarcastic laugh.

That's what I thought when I began the next step in my novelling.  And what is proving to be so hard for me is writing a chapter summary of my novel.  I plunked down at the laptop the other day, blissfully full of myself: I had finished my novel.

It was done.


Well, except, I changed this word and that sentence.  And that scene could use a little more detail.  And I think his father should have liver failure,not cancer and...and...and...you get the point.

But it is basically done.  All I had to do was write a chapter summary, a shorter one-page summary and a 'query letter' with which to woo prospective agents and convince them of my genius/marketability.  I decided to go from big to small.  The novel was first = biggest.  Chapter summary would be next = next biggest.

Did I mention the sarcastic laugh?

I almost can't believe how hard it is proving.  I did finish a rough draft of the chapter summary a few minutes ago.  After working on it for four hours.  It was also my fifth attempt over the last week.  HOLY COW it was hard.

It doesn't seem like it should be.  I wrote the stupid book.  I know exactly what happens and why and how and where and when and to whom.  Who.  Whatever.

It wrenched to leave out the little details I had struggled over.  Little tidbits that I love and think absolutely vital to the book.  I know in the event that the book is bought and picked up, some editor is going to rake over my little details and fiddle with them and erase a good number, but still!

Some chapters were painfully short to summarize.  For example:  On her drive home, she is in a car accident.  Can anyone say boring?  And also, you write summaries in present tense, which feels really weird.

Others were three four paragraphs, which seem ponderous and too long and detailed.  Those stupid little details!  Arg!  How many do you include?  How many do you leave out?  Don't the details make the story, make it original and interesting, my own personal variation on a pretty classic genre/plot?  Zombies are zombies.  It's my details that make them my zombies.

And now I have to reduce my 4,000 word summary to one page.  All I can think to say is:  Stuff happens and it is exciting. Trust me: very exciting.

And then I have to reduce it even further, to a paragraph or two describing the characters, what happens and why I think someone should pay me good money to keep sitting at my computer and writing these silly things called books.

I am going to keep plugging away at it.  It needs to be done.  I yearn for it to be done.  I might be close to breaking through my wall of writer's block about it.

But to prevent jinxing myself in the future, I will forever forswear using those famous last words:

"How Hard Can It Be?"