“I’m late. Again. Yesterday, it was time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.
Can there be any more hideous experience than talking about your own book in conversation?
I should know by now, not to get drawn in by that most delicious and tempting of all questions.
Yet, my brother, Al, asked me, ‘how’s your book going?’ and I succumbed.
I told my brother, ‘The Sasori Empire’ was based on mythology, with alternate versions of Maori legends and Japanese mythology.
To me, the world I’ve created through the Chronicles of Aden Weaver series is perfectly logical.
Yet, it’s only when I try to describe the plot to other people that I seem to come unstuck.
I heard myself telling my brother, Al, in avid detail, as you do when you’re a writer, all about ‘The Sasori Empire.’ I said, it’s set on the planet Chiron (an actual recently discovered planet in our solar system). The setting though is an alter-earth. As other authors have done, I swapped out the first letters of countries to make them recognizable and yet also, ‘somewhere else.’
Al was blinking at me owlishly.
Yet, we writers, when asked about our babies, cannot stop talking even when our listener’s eyes have glazed over.
I told Al that book two mostly moves between the Lost Island, set off-shore from the west coast of an alternate New Zealand, and the Land of Fire and Ice which is set in an alternate imagining of Japan.
Al may have started snoring at this point.
About mythology, the famous writer, Joseph Campbell said, ‘The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of the formula represented in the rites of passage: separation—initiation—return: which might be named the nuclear unit of the monomyth.’
I explained to my brother, that in these books I explore the traditional heroic arc, through the medium of fantasy and insect shape-shifters. Only in neither book two, nor its companion, book two: part two, do the hero or his heroic band get to “return.”
That was it. My brother wasn’t even looking in my direction anymore. I knew we’d officially reached his limit. At that point, I petered out.
I read somewhere recently, if we feel the urge to share what our book’s about with others, we should lock the urge up and throw away the key.
Sharing only seems to water the impact down. Yes, I know we have to be able to précis the book to compose the synopsis, blurb, and elevator pitch, all the way down to the logline. But that’s different, that’s the business side. Even writing a speech about your book is acceptable. But talking about the story with people in regular old conversation, I find, goes nowhere fast. It never works.
Why is that?
The fact is, no one, not even one’s own sibling, wants to hear an author “selling their own book.” Especially at length!
How do I stop myself from “sharing” again? Have you ever had a hideous experience of talking about your own book?
Talk to you later.
Keep on Creating!
Yvette K. Carol
Lord, make my words sweet and reasonable; some day I may have to eat them.~ Paddy Ashdown
‘The word ‘Legend’ comes from Latin legenda, ‘things to be read’. Originally, legends were the hand-written biographies of saints and martyrs, which were read daily, at MATINS, and after dinner at monastic refectories. In these accounts, such a love for exaggeration, the fantastic and wonderful predominated that the word, legend, came to signify a traditional story, a fable, or myth.’ ~ Brewers Dictionary of Phrase & Fable
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