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Saturday, April 22, 2006

I Watch "Seinfeld" While Updating My Homepage

I just wanted to mention that I've updated my homepage with the final chapter+epilogue of my novel DARC AGES.

After you've finished writing a novel, you may suddenly get second thoughts... Dr.Frankenstein second thoughts. "Oh my God, what have I done? I'll be a laughingstock if I let anyone else read this!"

And you may be right about that. But the only way to find out IS to let other people read your work.

Once I met this woman, who had written her own childrens' book, illustrated it and paid to print it with her own money. I asked to see her book, and she showed it to me.
I started reading... and when I came to the page where some adult characters appear naked (this was an ILLUSTRATED childrens' book), she panicked and pulled the book out of my hands.

That made me sad -- sad for the woman, who had gone through all that effort but couldn't face a (potentially critical/scornful) reader.

After all the proofreading and editing has been done, you can't suddenly lose your nerve and say "No, I won't let you read the whole thing!"

In other words: A writer must be prepared to fail. That risk is part of the game.

Of course, your definition of "failure" may not be the same as mine. I define literary "failure" as

A) "The text failed to strike a chord with readers"
AND
B) "the book failed to sell well."

NOTE that these two are not the same thing. You decide which is the most important...

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