I’ve revised my novel so many times it feels different than what I started with. Maybe that’s a good thing. But sometimes I find that I’m my harshest critic and at night, when I most want to rest, I turn into a berserk editor.
Last night I dreamed I was in a commercial demonstrating a slicing and dicing machine.
I was chopping up words, not food.
The previous night I saw myself seated behind a desk with a plaque that read, ‘Veronica Jorge,Editor, You imagine it, we print it.’ A distinguished looking gentleman cringed before me, chewing on his thick mustache and nervously wiping his spectacles with a white starched handkerchief. My contorted face ridiculed his manuscript.
“O.K. bud, let me get this straight. You’ve got an orphan girl; lonely, bored, misunderstood. She gets whooshed up into a tornado and winds up in a magical realm where they’re ready to worship her. And all she wants to do is go back to her dreary life on a dilapidated farm? You just set up your plot to fail!
Try a different spin. This chick; Dorothy, right? Have her use her powers to control the munchkins then march them into Oz and take out the Wizard. She rules, hooks up with the scarecrow and they have some off- the -wall kids.
Now, you’ve got a story!”
In the third nightmare, I sat behind the editor desk again. This time the plaque read, ‘Home Girl Publications, You dish it out, we can take it.’
I tore into the lovely author. My words curdled her milky complexion.
“No way readers gonna connect or sympathize with these March girls puttin’ on plays, gawkin’ at the lanky shorty next door and mopin’ after poor ole daddy gone off to war.
We got sisters out there dealin’ with real-life issues. Some got husbands serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. Others are strugglin’ as single moms with wannabe men and make-believe daddies sweatin’ ‘em. All of them doin’ it for theirselves; holdin’ down two, sometimes three, jobs just to make ends meet and put food on the table for the kids.
You gotsta keep it real, honey. Nameen?”
I wake each time, heart pounding and stressed over getting my novel perfect, and I ask myself whether I should continue writing.
The answer is always a resounding, “Yes”, because the story is the story of me and I must write it, if only just for me. Maybe then the nightmares will cease because it seems that my peace is contained in my novel’s completion.
See you next time on October 22nd.
Manager, Educator, and former High School Social Studies teacher, Veronica credits her love of history to the potpourri of cultures that make up her own life and to her upbringing in diverse Brooklyn, New York. Her genres of choice are Historical Fiction where she always makes new discoveries and Children’s Picture Books because there are so many wonderful worlds yet to be imagined and visited. She currently resides in Macungie, PA.