The book is done!
Yes, in the wee hours of this morning I finished my 4 year long writing project that began as a short story in my science fiction class back at UCSB. I'm very excited now to move on to the whole design phase, and hopefully when all is said and done I'll be sending you all a link to it where it can be purchased on the Amazon Kindle store. Keep your eyes peeled for it!
Writing a book teaches you a lot. It's not just another story. Maybe that's where people often get mistaken. Books in the hands of the uninitiated become billboards or cutouts, and people need to realize that there are ligaments, muscles, and organs that hold a book all together. When I started the project I was working off an agenda, trying to coerce my audience into feeling something. Since then the project has become more personal, a story about an American experience with spirituality, namely Christianity. Some would say that the project has an evangelical bent to it. Though it comes off that way, once you read the book you'll understand that its less of a proposition and more of a painting. The topical exposition moves the reader through a labyrinth of beliefs and worldviews that construct a sensory-social experience. Most of the conversations in the book are based off of my experiences so in some ways it's autobiographical. At the end, the protagonist asks, "why?" The reader too must confront this as well, so hopefully I did a good job. If not, I'm sure someone will let me know.
Once everything is complete however, once it's all copyrighted and such, I will reveal the title and "book-jacket" summary.
If I ask myself what I learned most about the process, I would probably respond that I got to know what I refer to as the "point of distance." The point of distance is a lot like the point of view. We all have a particular way we see the world, and these points of view enter into the things we get our hands on. I think the knee jerk reaction is to integrate these points of view with the characters we write, so in a way the characters just become various avatars of our personalities. The point of distance is when we distance our will from the will of character, which means that when a character does something it becomes out of our hands. If a character swears, they swear. If they die, then they die. It all goes out of your hands and into theirs. Things will surprise you actually. You'll write something and pause, thinking to yourself, "wow, did he actually just say that?" It's kind of cool.
Anyways, just something to think about.