Friday, April 1, 2011

Fact or Fiction?

At my first meeting with the local writer's group, I really hit it off with one of the members. Adrienne Wilder writes urban fantasies about a world with dragon-human hybrids. Although I'm not especially an urban fantasy devotee, I find her work to be highly imaginative and beautifully constructed.

I sent Glass Houses to her after the meeting. She read it right away and met me for lunch a couple of days later to share her thoughts. We had a delightful conversation about her work and mine. I haven't yet decided if I agree with her suggestions, but I understand exactly why she made them.

The critical question is whether or not Glass Houses should stay a memoir or be reworked as a piece of fiction loosely based on my life. She also suggested starting in the middle with the earlier sections turning up as either flashbacks or recollections. Switching to fiction would also mean writing dialogue--lots of it.

I don't even know where to start. I'm such a linear thinker that starting in the middle is really hard for me to wrap my head around. The very idea of writing dialogue frankly terrifies me.

The convener sent Glass Houses to the rest of the group last week. Normally they only get 5000 words at a time. I want them to read the entire piece as is so they can help me figure out which way to go. A message to that effect was included with the manuscript.

We meet tomorrow night. I won't know if my book will be discussed until I get there and find out if everyone had a chance to read it. If not, we'll talk about it at the next meeting.

I'm really looking forward to hearing what the rest of the group has to say. I'm torn. I get what Adrienne wants me to do and why.

I'm leaning toward keeping it the way it is. I want people to get to know the innocent kid I was before they meet the reckless wild-ass I became. By the end, I hope the reader has a better understanding of...

The Crotchety Old Man

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