Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Real Boy

I have a novella due April 1st. (Oh, how I loathe that due date. I've had it before. Is that supposed to be some kind of a joke on the editor's behalf?) Anyway, I finished the novella before Xmas. It's at 30K words, which is where it should be. But I can't actually call it 'finished' yet. You see, it desires to become A Real Boy. Right now, it's just sitting there, fully worded, plotted and written. But it lacks some flesh, sparkle and the very meat that makes it an interesting and cohesive read. So, like Gheppetto, I must now transform the wood and strings to flesh and blood. What does that require? Lots of hard work, and...magic.

I'm sure everyone can understand the hard work part. But the magic? That just sort of happens. I hope. It's not something I can wave my pen and produce. It emerges from between the lines and in the shadows of the page, I believe. I'll know it when it's happened, but until it does, I won't be able to guess at its arrival.

How vague, eh? Yep, it is. But it isn't vague on that printed page. If a story holds magic, when you are reading it, you will know. You will tell friends about it, you will go to review sites and post about it, you will re-read it. It will claim a spot on your keeper shelf.

Magic. I gotta get me some of that.

How do you know a story you've written is complete? A Real Boy? And if you're a reader, have you ever read a book and knew it was magic?