One of my guides is Stephen King's "On Writing." In it, he tells the up-and-coming author that there should be that one reader that is your primary reader. The one that reads your first draft of the manuscript. In many ways, he argues, that you're writing for that person. For me, that's my wife.
I printed out the prologue (~1,000 words) and asked her to read it. She read it in the car as I drove. She had her red marker in hand (she's a teacher... she can't help it). When she was done, she said "Excellent. That was really good. You hooked me. I want to know what happens next." For those that know my wife, they'll tell you that she doesn't mince words. She calls it the way she sees it. Good news is if she tells me she likes something, she really does. Bad news is that when she says she doesn't like something, there's not "Kinda like, or sorta' like." You will get the news with all the zits and warts and hair on it.
But I got to tell you, that felt good. And I told her that. She was surprised that I had so much doubt. I suppose it's very common for writers to have self doubt. At least I hope it's common because I find that I question my sanity every other day (okay every day but who's counting). She's used to seeing me in my "day job" where I have all the confidence and comfort that is possible within my profession.
In any event, this tells me that I can lure the reader and that this tone of voice works. So I have to overlay this type of writing over everything that I've written. But first, I will draw out the way there. How will the story adopt this tone throughout the tale? In my other life, I call this design work.
Date: Feb. 8th, 2009
Word Increase/(Decrease): 87
Current Word Count: 53,674