Sunday, July 11, 2010

Putting some pep in my step

Things have been wild for me lately, but I am back to pouring every spare ounce of effort into Baptism for the Dead. I'm really excited about this book and want to get it finished, revised, and turned in to my agent as soon as I can.

I've been struggling throughout the first quarter of the book, getting down a meager 1000 words a day (sometimes less!). Considering I usually write a minimum of 2500 a day, sometimes twice that, this has been somewhat discouraging for me. However, yesterday I found my groove and wrote 3600 words. I'm hoping today will be similarly productive. The book has wrapped up its setting and character development (stop cringing -- it's necessary in a novel that relies heavily on atmosphere, and in which the antagonist is the prevailing culture of an entire Idaho town) and is now starting to get into the part where the action really begins.

I'm a bit wary of this book. I have some pretty serious emotional investment in it. It is hard to write in some parts. It's harder to write it and to know that some of the things I have to say might offend people I care about. But I feel compelled to write it anyway, and I feel certain it's a story that needs telling. I don't think I have the power to change an entire culture. But I might have the power to touch a few individual hearts and minds, possibly to offer some comfort to people who are hurting or angry. And I know for a fact that the story I want to tell, although fictional, is true. There are people who go through what my characters will experience. There are people who live these lives. And I want to make others aware. I guess that's a task I can do. I take it seriously, and I hope I do it well.

The adage goes, "Fiction is lying to tell the truth." Ain't that the truth.


  1. "Fiction is lying to tell the truth."

    Quite true, Libbie. And the novelist must not forget that other dictum: unlike the truth, fiction has to make sense.

    Just did a post on my 18th C. Egypt research ( and gave you a shoutout therein. Sounds like you're doing great--as for me, I am plodding ahead at about 500 words per day and quite happy with that pace.

  2. Libby, I know I haven't read much of this book yet, but what I have read so far makes me feel something seriously profound. Like my hands actually shake, because I think I might be one of the first people on this earth to read the next Nabokov. (By the way, I'm reading Lolita right now because of your suggestions, and OH MY GOD, I'm in love!) My hands shake because I think this book is going to have serious POWER. Baptism for the Dead is going to punch people in their spiritual gut, and they are going to get down on their knees and beg for more!

  3. Thanks, but who the heck is this? Only a very few people have read any parts of Baptism. None of those people would misspell my name. ;)

    I'm flattered that you think my writing is so powerful, but I can't parse who you might be.

  4. Wait, wait...this is Loretta, isn't it?

    Hahaha...sorry, Loretta. My bad. Glad you're liking it so much...but don't inflate my ego so hard or fast or my head might explode. ;)