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E-Books and How I’m not Attracted to the Industry’s New Wig

February 5, 2010

I am about 2/3 through a complete overhaul of my second novel. It even has a new title. The writing is cleaner, sharper. The fluff is gone. Which hurts. Honestly, what I love about writing is the WRITING. The words. Words, words, words on a page. I love the poetry of a brilliant rhythm to a sentence and so it has been a huge chore for me to remove a lot of that, a lot of my favorite parts, because I know they’re not pertinent to the story. And I know every writer does this. Sometime though, I’d like to read the first draft, the wordy, crazy draft of some of my favorite books. Everyone likes the outtakes and “how-they-were-made” special features when watching a DVD. Maybe this whole e-book future will make it a possibility for us to read some of the author’s favorite “deleted scenes” and “outtakes” from their bestsellers. To me, from what I know (which is very little admittedly) that would be the  coolest thing about the e-book.

I have big plans for this novel (and the many more  I will write). I’ve been feeling really good about it and have been on a tear, writing every day for weeks and it has shown: I’ve been in a generally good mood, I am confident about my writing, and I’m not sitting around wishing I was writing. Because well, I am writing.

But the thing is, all everyone is talking about are e-books and I don’t really want an e-book, if that’s all that is going to be available. That’s my big fear for the future of my writing. Not the writing itself. I am beyond confident that my books will be published. But I want them in a paperback at least. Call me snobby. If an e-book was all I wanted, I could put my novel out on my blog, ask some friends to read it and call it published or whatever, but that’s not something I can hold. That’s not something I can hand to my mom and dad to have them put on their shelves and be proud of.  That’s not something I can feel and smell and really open up to see all the words on two open pages, how they look together from a distance. That’s not something I can read easily with another person.

There is magic in a book. For me at least. And I’m starting to fear the industry I have wanted to be a part of since I was a little kid, the industry I feel I am so close to being a part of now, has suddenly moved  far away, changed its name, started wearing make-up, put on a hip new wig and some fancy shoes…and is no longer the same person I’ve always looked up to and looked so forward to meeting.

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