I like writing because it’s a solitary task. I’m the complete dictator of an entire world when I sit in front of my keyboard. I decide who lives and who dies, who get’s laid and who joins the priesthood.
Of course this dictatorship ends when I present my work to others to read, whether an editor, a writers group or friends. Then I have to listen to opinions, weigh reputations and compromise.
So Fogel, my editor, has serious concerns about my novel, In a Country Burning, and I have some big decisions to make. Because it’s my first novel, written and rewritten dozens of times over twenty years–yes, you heard me–twenty years, I’ve lost all perspective.
So I thought, why not make it a public effort? I’ll tell you where I am in the novel and the problems I’m having. People are welcome to e-mail suggestions.
Just remember: I’m still the dictator in the end. All opinions are just that: opinions. If you send me a suggestion, you’re sending it for free and will receive no compensation. If I use one of your suggestions it doesn’t mean you own part of my novel. I retained all rights, copyrights and ownership. This is my baby.
So: these two guys walk into Afghanistan in 1983…