Yesterday saw me finish what will hopefully be the last major redraft of Temporary. Only hours before a few friends came over for dinner and general shenanigans did I get to that final full stop in my, now dramatically changed, manuscript.
A lot has been ripped out, a bit has been added, but it’s all been honed. Fingers crossed I’ve done a good enough job to draw the attention of my inevitable next step in this journey: somehow finding a literary agent.
I figure I might try laying down pages in a row, leading towards a crudely assembled box trap as I wait discreetly behind a big rock. Or something.
I can’t lie: the temptation to self publish is undeniable, but I feel that it would be a disservice to what the world of Temporary is attempting to be. I hate the idea that, with a simple (probably WAY too simple) push of a button, years of handwork would be uploaded to be immediately buffeted by the influx of other self published titles, lost in the mire.
To have a literary agent support the dream of what Temporary could be, of what it could achieve and evolve into, backed with the assistance of a publisher…well, that’s the kind of machine I want to throw behind my work. It’s what it deserves…said every writer ever.
No offence to the indy self publishing scene. If (WHEN, dammit, self deprecation!) I become a recognised author, I believe that being able to craft new worlds and characters would be a fun, worthwhile endeavour that would only benefit with self publishing and the control it affords the writer. But not for this. Not now.
But coming to the end of the manuscript made me realise one last thing I need to address. One last element I need to go back to and extrapolate upon in order to provide actual pathos to my third act twist.
I need to lay down a few breadcrumbs.
Subtle, tiny breadcrumbs that allow for the actions in the third act to have more narrative heft, man. The importance of subtlety is key here (something I’ve spoken about before on my podcast – Sweet, Story Bro). The last thing I want to do is leave obvious loaves around, sign posting everything with their delicious, ‘hot from the oven’ aroma and soul soothing warmth.
(Damn, why am I on paleo right now…that sounds amazing.)
It’s insulting to the reader, and a disservice to the story and my skills (skillz?!) as a writer. It feels good though to know that, with this final element addressed, it means one thing: it’s time to step away.
I’ve blogged about this before in relation to my short story, Shell, and it’s just as true now as it was then. The only major difference? The lack of obvious direction as to what comes next with Temporary.
Wait, I had that with Shell when it wasn’t accepted into the short story competition I’d written it for.
WELL, getting an agent is the next logical step once the breadcrumbs have been placed. It’s just a whole load of ‘something something’ to get there.
One thing you can count on though is that I’ll be charting my journey here, with all the highs and lows as they come and go!