Hey Everybody, Look Over Here!

I’m always up for a challenge, so I was very pleased when my bloggerverse friend, Imelda Evans, tagged me on Twitter.

I’m not typically a word-sketcher. I don’t take my notebook and sit in the back corner of a coffeehouse, looking cool, writing down random nonsense. If I were though, I know I would rock it.

I am a writer that works best when I have purpose. A mission. A quest. A deadline. I need to be organized, and I need to work my thoughts out in advance before I sit down at the keyboard.

So when someone takes the time to throw me a writing challenge, I’m ready steady go.

This particular challenge is pretty straightforward: It has two parts.

1) Find the first use of the word ‘look’ in your manuscript (whatever that manuscript might be) and post the surrounding couple of paragraphs as a little ‘look’ into your work.

2) Now answer: What makes you excited for this story?

A great idea for a post, and you can read Imelda’s original post here: http://imeldaevans.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/look-its-a-writer-challenge-so-show-me-what-youve-got/

Chances are you’ll spend some time on her site, she’s an extremely spirited writer…so get through this before you shoot over, ok?

Now then here’s my excerpt, from my upcoming first novel — (out Nov 2012) —Leather to the Corinthians:

I know what ails you.

I know what troubles bring you forward in droves to stare at the mighty juice, the glorious oil that transforms the beaten into full-blown raving geniuses. What I offer will not only satisfy, it will fulfill.

I know this because I have looked into your shallow eye sockets and have seen the blood stained traumas and horrors of your ancient astronaut ancestors — ancestors whose bio-seeds gave birth to the many-armed succubae tormentors of your secret psychic souls. Your years of meta-body personal apocalypse, for which no self-help book can assuage, are nearing their end as you drop open drooling jaws to this ultimate, extreme wonder-product of the new and improved age.

A tonic to exhilarate! An oil to lubricate! A cure for all that ails you!

Whew.

It’s very cool that the first instance of “look” in my book comes from this prologue piece. It was not so cool to see how many times I actually used the word “look” in my book. It could potentially annoy me for some time.

I am going forward regardless. I have twiddled the knobs on this damn thing for long enough, and it’s so damn close to getting out in the world that I will have to let that little obsessive detail fall to the wayside. The next book will feature a variety of awesome synonyms for the word “look”. That or I’ll make my main character blind or something like that.

Leather to the Corinthians was a book that took some time to write. Pieces here and pieces there, put together on my summers off (I taught high school during that time). Some elements in the book are from scrawlings I made in undergrad, a million years ago. There have been times when I hated every word of it. Times when I couldn’t believe the genius of it. Nervous moments when handing it over to someone else. Joy from praise from those who read it.

It’s not a neatly placed genre book. If I wrote one of those, I think I would have an easier time understanding how to market it. Leather to the Corinthians could become a major cult book (that’s the dream) or it could be considered pure garbage. Being a writer means being brave in a way that those that do not write will never truly understand. It’s a white knuckle experience. It carries considerable emotional risk.

I’m rolling the dice on it. I’m always up for a challenge.

Come by and visit me before Christmas, my book is the perfect gift for the iconoclast or smartass in your life.

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8 thoughts on “Hey Everybody, Look Over Here!”

  1. Ooh, interesting excerpt, my friend! I’m laughing, not at your excerpt, but at your horror at the ‘looks’. Don’t worry, I found the same thing, but it’s not anything that any of my beta readers or editors have mentioned, so I think ‘look’ is in the same category as ‘and’ and ‘he’ and ‘she’ – invisible mostly. One can but hope, anyway. 😉

    I can’t wait to see where you go from your psychic snake-oil salesman beginning! Here’s hoping it is a cult hit. And thanks for the shout out. I’m glad you enjoyed the challenge!

  2. Fantastic idea, it’s so good in fact I am afraid to do the same thing because it will probably set me back weeks deleting all the instances of look after the first one.

    Dude, I can already tell that this is going to be an intense ride, a ride that arrives towards the cult classic end of the spectrum; arrives at the exhale to a long breath and makes the rider say, What the eff was that?, and I want more. More. Now!

    November is right around the corner, looking forward to taking that ride.

    1. I had this moment where I wanted to tear through the whole thing. My guess is that no matter how complete you feel your manuscript might be, there will be moments where it just feels like a wreck. Dude, I can’t thank you for all of your support throughout this process, it’s major fuel for the tank.

    1. Awesome. I just read your post and commented. I am so used to giving my students writing challenges that it was nice to sit in the seat for a change. Well done, sir.

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