Saturday, August 19, 2006

Believing it Myself

A nice nice day--lunch with my neighbor, whose company I enjoy, some work at my computer in the afternoon--redoing the two chapters I've written--and leftovers (their favorite casserole) for Jordan and Christian tonight. Jacob, two months tomorrow, was happier and showed more personality--lots of grins--than I've seen so far. All in all, a day to be savored.
I've now written two chapters on the mystery, and on the whole, for this stage of the game, I'm happy with them. And, thanks to Weldon's inspiration the other night, I know where I'm going with the next chapter--one of the characters I thought was going to die isn't, at least not yet. (I have always been a big believer that novelists should isten to their characters.) Which brings me to a new word I found today--prowling among blogs (I found some fascinating ones, both about mysteries and politics) I came across the term "pantser." A pantser is the opposite of a plotter, a writer who writes literally "by the seat of the pants." Aha! That's the notion I got from J. A. Jance, and it's the way I'm going about this novel.
But I realized a huge problem--I myself don't have faith that it will work. I don't believe deep down that I can ever publish a mystery. I think a part of me believes that, left bereft by the demise of westerns, I'm so adrift in the world of publishing that I'll never get an agent, never sell the mystery. It could turn out to be Agatha-Christie-good (okay, I don't think it will do that, but it is beginning to incorporate some social themes so maybe it would move beyond the dreaded "chick lit" category) but nothing would happen with it. And to me that's the huge problem--if I don't believe in it myself, no one else will. I simply have to work to convince myself that I'll find an agent--I do know one I can approach--and that the book will find a major publisher. I'm afraid, as one well-meaning and very good friend once suggested, that I've already had more success than most writers, and maybe that's all there is. I may just never reach bigtime New York. But if I don't believe, who will? I have to start working on my subconscious.

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