Or had I? On the one hand, my main character is a victim of events in the first half of the book, I could argue. She is too bottled up inside, and frankly, terrified, to size up what's happening around her. She's in survival mode. In the second half, she becomes increasingly aware of things she can do to change her circumstances. In other words, she does some growing up.
On the other hand, if I can't get readers to the second half of the book, I've failed. What do I do? I'm toying with a prologue and adding monologue with more detail, but only if it fits. Accepting edits also means knowing when to reject edits. I'm filtering words to remove passive voice again and adding stronger verbs, which to be honest, I've done before, but I will try again.
(Okay, deleted the above. I hate those moments, but it was what it was, and it feels honest to keep in place).
I'm better today (yep, slept a few hours). Most of the Christmas decorations are up and I had lunch with a friend, who brightened my day. Tis the season to be merry, after all, when God's message of peace, love, and hope takes on special meaning. Counting my blessings.
I read a review of a book I might purchase by Alex Kuo, called Triple Shanghai. It follows the life of a newspaper culture writer and is about political dissent in China, which can mean solitary confinement in that country. I'm in the mood for something different. Kuo contends (according to reviewer Jacob Jones) that "in America the defiant act of protest is more likely to be completely ignored." Is that true? Have we become blinded to events and suffering around us?
Kuo further writes: "A novel about an unusual subject that is accessible to [the average reader] is probably not a very good novel. The unique and the different should be challenging, infuriating at times, and requires work."
The reviewer responds: "But that is the power of literature--the ability to provoke and shape critical thought, the capacity to change minds, incite revolutions. Would you rather have your writing punished or ignored?"
He ends with another thought-provoking quote by Kuo (lest we think we are better than China), one that I'm particularly fond of and feel anyone promoting reading should consider:
"We have censorship in this country, but it's self-imposed. The worst kind of censorship is nobody reads. That's self-censorship."
The Insecure Writers Support Group meets online every first Wednesday of the month. Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG was created to support and encourage all writers in every phase of their work, from writing to marketing. Click here to join, and for information, writing tips, and more.
The awesome co-hosts for the December 2 posting of the IWSG will be Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell!