The Prompter Room

For Sunday, January 17, 2016:


“A writer can do nothing for [readers] more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls.”

Walt Whitman

Yesterday, as I finished up the line edits in the current draft of my new novel, I began to worry that the storyline isn’t exciting enough, or fast-paced or graphic enough, to hold the interest of today’s readers.  Early this morning I lay awake, reviewing it chapter by chapter in my head, with the same worries.

At the same time, I tell myself, this book kind of wrote itself – or, rather, the characters did.  It’s not saccharine-sweet, but it’s also not filled with violence or sex or technological wonders.  Instead it is about possibilities and growth.

This is an optimistic story.  There is conflict, there is mystery, there’s a little fantasy, and ultimately the characters took me to a place of hope.  The book may not attract readers who are drawn to thrillers or the entanglements of power and intrigue, but I take heart from Whitman’s words.  I’m also encouraged by this from Wally Lamb:

“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.”

I think the book IS true.  Certainly the characters feel true, to themselves and to the story they told me.  So when it’s time, I hope an audience will find it.  Even if it’s an audience of one.

More importantly, I think, I need to remain true to the characters, the story, the book, and I need to make them the best they can be.   Because I believe in them, and I believe in possibilities.  And because they’re already telling me more.  It seems they want a second book.


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