Saturday, 23 June 2012

So You Want to Write a Novel

Currently reading: Covenant by Dean Crawford
Currently listening to: "Whistle" by Flo Rida
Current weather conditions: Well, it's England so it's raining.

So I was recently meandering around the internet, hunting out success stories of authors that have Made It. You know - those previously unknown Regular Joes and Janes that, for whatever reason, felt inspired to write a novel, or memoir, and spent years putting it together and then - and then - began that perilous, hopeless, soul-destroying search for an agent, and despite the horrible, horrible, make-you-want-to-puke odds got one. For writers like me, these stories are the equivalent of skinny dipping, a cocaine hit, and a lottery ticket win combined. I feed on these stories. I need these stories.

And! I found this! If you haven't already seen it - and I would be surprised if you haven't, because I seem to be the last one on the face of the planet to have stumbled upon this little gem - I guarantee you will find it hilarious. A gentleman named David Kazzie (a husband and father of young children) decided one day that he wanted to write a novel. He was so moved by the book Mystic River by Dennis LeHane that he wanted to take a stab at writing a book himself.  And so he did his research, learning about the craft and then learning about the rather sadistic impossibility of finding an agent. It was in all this terror, this barefaced hopelessness in the question of the point of it all -  walking up to the edge of that jutting precipice and then looking down - that he decided to approach the whole "writing a novel" thing but without the apologetic quotation marks. So here it is. I'll let the video speak for itself.

This video was so popular that it ended up on creative writing teachers' websites, reposted to great writers' forums like Absolute Write (which is where I actually stumbled upon this video in the first place a couple days ago), and magically appeared on literary agents' sites as well. They found it as funny as the Regular Joes did. And to that effect, David ended up branding his own way of looking at the world, making more videos like, So You Want To Go To Law School and other such things. You can find all of these on Youtube. And even better, this video landed him the agent of his dreams, the one he was honed in on from the very start (Dennis LeHane's agent). You can read about it on his blog post here. David Kazzie's debut novel, quite aptly named The Jackpot, is in stores now and on Kindle.

So I guess you could say that David Made It. I am flushed with pride even though I don't know him. I guess that's what writing does to you: it picks you out out of millions, isolates you within your mind, and at the same time confirms your place in the community. There's nothing like the shared goal of complete strangers.

Happy Saturday, all, and remember: never let fear sabotage your heart's wildest dreams.

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