Just did something that I found quite scary - I sent off 25,000 words of a thriller I'm writing to my agent. The hope, of course, is that she'll love it and beg for more. The fear is that she'll hate it and suggest my taking up needlecrafts. Another fear is that the reaction might fall somewhere between those two chairs. That eventuality signifies real work in rewriting which is something I find hard because it is painstaking and... dull.

Now, here is the history of how I got to the thriller stage of my writing career - I started writing mysteries just wanting to write about a small fictional town in Puerto Rico. I sold those novels, but before the first one got published I was already being asked whether I couldn't write an urban novel. I resisted that for a long time - tons of authors have already stomped all over that territory and it would be hard for me to do any better or even hold my own. Still, I gave it a try. THE CONCRETE MAZE will see light of day this August and I think it's a good book.

But again, even before that book was sold, I was asked if I could turn out a thriller. The publisher who asked me wanted something in the style of The DaVinci Code - I kid you not. Of course, I said I could do it. What was I supposed to say? "My talent has boundaries"? Turns out I should have said that. Devilishly difficult to write something in the style of Dan Brown - something that will appeal to 20,000,000 paying readers. Don't believe me? Try it. I wouldn't suggest that even Dan Brown attempt it. He should write a very small book next, something with lower expectations. I digress.

The thriller is a larger canvas than I'm used too. (My books generally have some kind of clock ticking in them already so that angle I've got down pat.) There are terrorists and FBI agents and cities across America are affected by what the terrorists do. The kicker is why they do it. Okay, that and what they do also. You'll have to read it. So far, it's a lot of fun to write. Of course, that's no guarantee of quality...

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Comment by M.G. Tarquini on March 25, 2007 at 3:44am
Or Rotarians.
Comment by Steven Torres on March 24, 2007 at 10:35pm
Or if they want cyborgs...
Comment by Daniel Hatadi on March 24, 2007 at 4:56pm
Or two point four?
Comment by Steven Torres on March 24, 2007 at 9:22am
Rewriting is difficult when there's that ne detail that needs reworking and it calls for changing stuff throughout. For instance, write a perfectly good PI novel then be told "add a sidekick" or a romantic interest.

In my case, I have five terrorists - what if they want six? Or four?
Comment by Karen Dionne on March 24, 2007 at 4:24am
I do both at the same time - writing and rewriting. I can't move forward without perfecting what I've written - even though I know full well I might drop the sentence/paragraph/scene/chapter on the next pass. For me, both first drafts and rewrites are tedious and painful. And yet here I am . . .
Comment by Carol Davis Luce on March 24, 2007 at 3:42am
You wrote: "That eventuality signifies real work in rewriting which is something I find hard because it is painstaking and... dull."

As a novel writing instructor, my mantra is: Writing is Rewriting. Of course to me the rewriting is easy and exciting. It's the creative first draft that fries my brain. I'm currently in the rewriting stage of my WIP and I'm cruising along, enjoying every minute of it.
Comment by Karen Dionne on March 24, 2007 at 12:49am
Gah - I know that feeling! (just got a thumbs-up from my agent on the first 4K of my next work - phew!)

Bet she'll think it's fabulous.

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