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A Plea for Help

Okay, here’s the deal. 

I’m writing a novel. Actually, I’ve been writing a novel, on and off, for well over a decade. I have a draft that stinks that I finished in 1998, and about two years ago, I decided to radically rewrite the whole thing, changing it from first person to third person, and actually constructing a semi-credible plot. 
When I started this blog, my goal was to write at least 1,000 words per day on the book, too. I’ve been much more faithful to the blog –  I’m now up to about 80,000 words on the novel, so you do the math – but I’m now getting it to the point where I can no longer tell if my story is even remotely interesting. I finally let my wife read the first two chapters, and she was somewhat unimpressed. It turns out, however, that she’s bugged that the geek is the hero and that cheerleaders and football players are portrayed in a less than flattering light, as she was one of those cheerleaders and quite popular, and she thinks that GeekFic bashing the Beautiful People is patently unfair. She also didn’t like the reference to “copping a feel” that I put in the prologue. I’m not really sure what she did like, but she insists that I shouldn’t abandon the project altogether. Now THAT’S encouraging. 
Anyway, I’m wondering if it would be a good idea to start posting pieces of said novel here on the blog and get feedback from you, the Great Unwashed. Truth be told, I know most of you personally, and even those of you I don’t know usually have interesting and/or intelligent things to say. I’m not sure what the copyright problems would be in posting chunks of something I want to publish online – I know other authors, notably Orson Scott Card, do it all the time, and nobody runs off and publishes anything without telling them. Any lawyers want to counsel me on the wisdom of this approach?
Anyway, I submit the question to you: would you be interested in reading chunks of my magnum opus and providing feedback? Or should I continue to toil in relative obscurity and post more about my children’s bowels?
Conversational French
Novel Ground Rules

Leave a Reply


  1. Go ahead and post stuff. I’m interested. But don’t abandon your childrens’ bowels, either. Interpret that how you will.

  2. Brutally honest feedback is what it’s all about. Believe me, that’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for. My wife’s already given me a heaping helping of it, so if I can survive that, I can survive anything.

  3. Two other things to think about. The inevitable Languatron review, and the retaliatory shipper reviews (For next season’s Stallion-GINO reviews over at skiffy). I doubt you care in either case.

  4. I say go ahead and post it. I think they people who read the blog (including me) will be fair and honest in comments about the novel.

  5. For the record, I wash frequently. I would be happy to read drafts from your Great American Novel. I like the idea of the geek triumphing over the beautiful people. As a beautiful geek I think it is fine! 🙂

  6. That would be fun.Copyright law states that your work is copyrighted the moment you put pen to paper, or type on a keyboard. No copyright has to be filed, in order to benefit from copyright protection.However, filing makes it much eawsier to prove your case, should your work be stolen.

  7. I’ll work with you on it when i can, have several irons in the fire here, but this could be good.MAKE IT GOOD!Don’t feel pressured.No pressure!!SM

  8. I’m in, too, but don’t forget that sometimes with so many voices shouting at you it’s easy to try to appease everybody, which inevitably means you end up with something crappier than what you started with. Pick and choose what you want to take, and dump the rest. I wash regularly, too. I could show you my water bill, if you’d like.