Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I'm NOT WORTHY!
Welcome, Insecure Writer Friends!
You ever have something SO COOL happen that you're SURE you can't live up to it? Well that's what happened to me this weekend.
Saturday morning, in that hazy wake-sleep right before I get up, the 'set-up' for the pitch for my next book formed really nicely. I've been thinking about this book for almost a year, maybe longer—but I haven't felt I had the chops to face it. This spring I started doing some plotting and wrote a couple scenes (cheating on my endless editing, if you will) and the ideas were coming together nicely, but it was STILL so hard to DESCRIBE concisely... so this set-up really got me going. I stacked the pillows, grabbed my notebook and pen, shooed my husband who had come in to see if maybe I didn't need a little help in the bedroom *cough* and wrote it out.
I couldn't finish the pitch because I couldn't even remember what I'd called my primary MC (I say primary because this book actually has several PoVs—first time I've done this in AGES) and the VERY first time I'm attempting a bona-fide thriller. She's Sidney, by the way. Sidney Knight.
So when I sent that first paragraph to my friend Joris, he was excited about it—he liked the sound and I could tell he had ideas... But I had NO IDEA how INCREDIBLE his idea would be. We went back and forth with some clarifications, but OHMYGAWD what he came up with!
Take the time to make it big. Look at the map of the US—just SEE if it doesn't give you chills. But I love ALL of it.
And now I am TERRIFIED I will not write an adequate story. How COULD I write an adequate story? I mean even the set-up is huge... but THAT COVER!!! Even HWMNBMOTI loves it! (and he's very hard to please, but don't tell him I said so)
Here is my VERY first draft of a pitch, but note that the first paragraph just came to me. The rest is still forced and will definitely have to be improved:
A Shot in the Light
Men in a back room have decided the future. They've spotted the problem, a drain on the system: the old, the poor, the sick. And they've constructed a solution. A vaccine. A vaccine that is a death sentence. But they have not thought the plan through, for who is always vaccinated first? Health care providers. Teachers. Those on the front line. Those we cannot afford to be without. Especially when viruses mutate and the plan is no longer contained.
Sidney Knight has her first encounter with the flu outbreak while she pounds out a couple freelance articles from a cheap hotel room on the Oregon coast. She calls her brother at the CDC to discuss the beach full of dead birds and he suggests she wait to get a flu shot, as he thinks the current batch was premature Back home in Portland, a roommate dies from the flu and another frets, because as a nurse, she is being forced to get the shot. When Sidney tries to reach her brother again for solutions, he can't be reached. The CDC has locked down under quarentine and Sidney smells a far bigger story than just the flu.
She flies to Atlanta where she tries to work with her brother's roommate, who was ironically locked out of CDC with the flu, and a mostly drunk reporter friend who has somehow worked out a communication system with her brother.
They work hard to find both cause and solution as the population panics with a healthcare and protection shortage and the righteous and the greedy trying to profit from the aftermath.
So that is what I'm working with. I've written maybe 30 pages (so I will be a BuNoWriMo rebel) but I really need to go through all my notes to make this a manageable book.
Joris blogged yesterday about HIS process of it if you are interested. And he DOES have his shingle out if you want him to be amazing for YOU, too...
You ever receive a gift that intimidated you to try to live up to it?